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For The Record  

FTR #922 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 5: Walkin’ the Snake with “The Donald” (The Underground Reich Comes Into Plain View, Part 3)

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

Serpent's Walk

Introduction: Cementing our analysis of The Trumpenkampfverbande, this program further develops information presented in FTR #921. As noted in that program Trump has gone a long way in mainstreaming the rhetoric and ideology of white supremacism. Handmaidens in that effort are the media, who have been unfairly tough on Hillary Clinton while giving Trump a pass on issues of vital importance.

Former CNN host Soledad O’Brien attacked the cable news business has behaved irresponsibly in this election and presented a Serpent’s Walk-style platform for Nazi/white supremacist views: ” . . . ‘If you look at Hillary Clinton’s speech where she basically pointed out that what Donald Trump has done — actually quite well — has normalized white supremacy,’ O’Brien explained to CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday. ‘I think she made a very good argument, almost like a lawyer. Here are ways in which he has actually worked to normalize conversations that many people find hateful. I’ve seen on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates,’ she noted. ‘And they do a five minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that. . . . The former CNN host argued that the question that journalists should be asking is if Trump is ‘softening the ground for people — who are white supremacists, who are white nationalists, who would self-identify that way — to feel comfortable with their views being brought into the national discourse to the point where they can do a five minute interview happily on national television? And the answer is yes, clearly,’ she said. ‘And there is lots of evidence of that.’ . . .”

thinkbignkickassMeinKampfO’Brien’s observation dovetails with our decades-long discussion of the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk. The back cover of that book sums up the essence of the tome: ” . . . It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite – the SS – didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of their tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.’ . . .”

Think about how the media is treating Donald Trump–see the Soledad O’Brien analysis–and the way they are portraying Hillary Clinton is dramatic.

Waffen SS-clad World War II reenactors, in original photo used by Trump

Waffen SS-clad World War II reenactors, in original photo used by Trump

Paul Krugman noted the grotesque media bias against Hillary Clinton and the soft ball treatment to which they are subjecting Trump, comparing media handling of Al Gore versus their kid glove coverage of George W. Bush. We have noted the Hillary Clinton email non-scandal in FTR #906. (CORRECTION: Mr. Emory misspoke, saying that the “0.36 percent of Hillary’s e-mails constituted 12 e-mails. The number was 110, contained in a number of chains. That is according to Mitt Romney supporter James Comey.) Now, we are being treated to the Clinton Foundation non-scandal” . . . . Meanwhile, we have the presumption that anything Hillary Clinton does must be corrupt, most spectacularly illustrated by the increasingly bizarre coverage of the Clinton Foundation. . . . Raising large sums for a charity that saves the lives of poor children sounds like a pretty reasonable, virtuous course of action. And the Clinton Foundation is, by all accounts, a big force for good in the world. For example, Charity Watch, an independent watchdog, gives it an “A” rating — better than the American Red Cross.

Now, any operation that raises and spends billions of dollars creates the potential for conflicts of interest. You could imagine the Clintons using the foundation as a slush fund to reward their friends, or, alternatively, Mrs. Clinton using her positions in public office to reward donors. So it was right and appropriate to investigate the foundation’s operations to see if there were any improper quid pro quos. As reporters like to say, the sheer size of the foundation “raises questions.”

But nobody seems willing to accept the answers to those questions, which are, very clearly, “no.”

Consider the big Associated Press report suggesting that Mrs. Clinton’s meetings with foundation donors while secretary of state indicate “her possible ethics challenges if elected president.” Given the tone of the report, you might have expected to read about meetings with, say, brutal foreign dictators or corporate fat cats facing indictment, followed by questionable actions on their behalf.

But the prime example The A.P. actually offered was of Mrs. Clinton meeting with Muhammad Yunus, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who also happens to be a longtime personal friend. If that was the best the investigation could come up with, there was nothing there. . . .”

Turning to the economic foundation of Trump’s business dealings–he markets himself politically as a successful businessman–we analyze the role of the remarkable and deadly Bormann group in the corporate and media landscapes. In FTR #152, we highlighted the observation of one banker that the Bormann network is the largest concentration of money power under a single controlling structure in all of history.

In FTR #921, we noted Deutsche Bank and the other main funding sources for Trump’s real estate deals have major connections to the Bormann capital network. The program notes that Deutsche Bank was a major vehicle for Bormann network purchases of stock in major American corporations, a dynamic that gives the Bormann group enormous leverage with those U.S. companies. By extension it gives them major influence in media affairs, through the exercise of advertising and investment policy.

“. . . . When Bormann gave the order for his representatives to resume purchases of American corporate stocks, it was usually done through the neutral countries of Switzerland and Argentina. From foreign exchange funds on deposit in Swiss banks and in Deutsche Sudamerikanishe Bank, the Buenos Aires branch of Deutsche Bank, large demand deposits were placed in the principal money-center banks of New York City; National City (now Citibank), Chase (now Chase Manhattan N.A.), Manufacturers and Hanover (now manufacturers Hanover Trust), Morgan Guaranty, and Irving Trust. Such deposits are interest-free and the banks can invest this money as they wish, thus turning tidy profits for themselves. In return, they provide reasonable services such as the purchase of stocks and transfer or payment of money on demand by customers of Deutsche bank such as representatives of the Bormann business organizations and and Martin Bormann himself, who has demand accounts in three New York City banks. They continue to do so. The German investment in American corporations from these sources exceeded $5 billion and made the Bormann economic structure a web of power and influence. . . .”

In addition, we note that corporate Germany is controlled by the Bormann network. “. . . Atop an organizational pyramid that dominates the industry of West Germany through banks, voting rights enjoyed by majority shareholders in significant cartels, and the professional input of a relatively young leadership group of lawyers, investment specialists, bankers, and industrialists, he [Bormann] is satisfied that he achieved his aim of helping the Fatherland back on its feet. To ensure continuity of purpose and direction, a close watch is maintained on the profit statements and management reports of corporations under its control elsewhere. This leadership group of twenty, which is in fact a board of directors, is chaired by Bormann, but power has shifted to the younger men who will carry on the initiative that grew from that historic meeting in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. . . What will not pass is the economic influences of the Bormann organization, whose commercial directives are obeyed almost without question by the highest echelons of West German finance and industry. ‘All orders come from the shareholders in South America,’ I have been told by a spokesman for Martin Bormann. . . .”

The granting of advertising contracts to media outlets (print and broadcast) is a major vehicle for Bormann-group-controlled corporate Germany to influence journalism. The politically selective withholding of orders and advertising contracts is a vehicle for political control of journalism exercised by Third Reich business dating to the World War II period. It was articulated in a New York Herald Tribune article from May 31, 1940.  “. . . . As far as the United States is concerned, the planners of the World Germanica laugh off the idea of any armed invasion. They say that it will be completely unnecessary to take military action against the United States to force it to play ball with this system. . . . Here, as in every other country, they have established relations with numerous industries and commercial organizations, to whom they will offer advantages in co-operation with Germany. . . .Cer­tain con­di­tions will have to be met. No orders will be taken from or given by per­son­al­i­ties unfa­vor­ably regarded by the Nazis. No adver­tis­ing con­tracts will be placed with news­pa­pers directed by or pub­lish­ing the work of pro-Ally or anti-Nazi edi­tors or writers. . . .”

The tactic continues to be exercised, as exemplified by the business dealings of the Quandt corporation, manufacturers of the BMW and Audi automobiles, and invested with the operations of Daimler and Volkswagen as well. The firm is controlled by the heirs of Joseph Goebbels. In FTR #155, we noted that major personalities in the Bormann network were the blood descendants of Third Reich luminaries. ” . . . Whenever the books section reviewed something about WWII or The Holocaust (which was often), BMW pulled their ads for that issue. . . . They were just very sensitive about it given their history. I was in the art dept so couldn’t tell you any details, it just became a running joke: ‘Oh, Ben has reviewed another WWII book! Ad sales will be pissed!’ . . . ”

The program concludes with a transitional element to discussion to be presented in FTR #923. In our ongoing analysis of WikiLeaks and “L’Affaire Snowden,” we have noted that the political foundation of these heavily overlapped “ops” is the milieu of “The Paulistinian Libertarian Organization.

The milieu of the “Alt Right,” Ron and Rand Paul, David Duke, the Ludwig von Mises Institute is the political environment that spawned Donald Trump. ” . . . . Trump’s style and positions — endorsing and consorting with 9/11 truthers, promoting online racists, using fake statistics— draw on a now-obscure political strategy called “paleolibertarianism,” which was once quite popular among some Republicans, especially former presidential candidate Ron Paul. . . . But it was [Murray] Rothbard’s founding of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in 1982 that enabled the fledgling political movement to establish affinity with the neo-Confederate Lost Cause movement. Almost immediately after its creation, the Mises Institute (headquartered in Auburn, Ala.) began publishing criticism of “compulsory integration,” attacks on Abraham Lincoln and apologia for Confederate leaders. Institute scholars have also spoken to racist groups such as the League of the South. Rothbard even published a chapter in his book “The Ethics of Liberty” in which he said that “the purely free society will have a flourishing free market in children,” although he didn’t specify the races of the children who might be sold. . . . In the past few years, however, it’s been reborn as the alt-right, as a new generation of libertarians discovered their hidden heritage and began embracing racism and conspiracy theories. Many alt-right writers trace their roots to Rothbard. As one of them, Gregory Hood, put it, paleolibertarian theories about race and democracy “helped lead to the emergence [of the] Alternative Right.” Rothbard’s call for “sovereign nations based on race and ethnicity” is very similar to beliefs Trump’s alt-right supporters express today. . . .”

It should surprise no one that WikiLeaks has emerged as the unofficial online dirty tricks branch of the Trump campaign.

Program Highlights Include:

  • Review of the links between UBS of Switzerland, another Trump creditor, and the Bormann network.
  • Review of the graduated nature of the Serpent’s Walk template and comparison with what is going on today.
  • Review of the growing German corporate control of American media.

1. Former CNN host Soledad O’Brien attacked the cable news business has behaved irresponsibly in this election and presented a Serpent’s Walk-style platform for Nazi/white supremacist views: ” . . . ‘If you look at Hillary Clinton’s speech where she basically pointed out that what Donald Trump has done — actually quite well — has normalized white supremacy,’ O’Brien explained to CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday. ‘I think she made a very good argument, almost like a lawyer. Here are ways in which he has actually worked to normalize conversations that many people find hateful. I’ve seen on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates,’ she noted. ‘And they do a five minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that. . . . The former CNN host argued that the question that journalists should be asking is if Trump is ‘softening the ground for people — who are white supremacists, who are white nationalists, who would self-identify that way — to feel comfortable with their views being brought into the national discourse to the point where they can do a five minute interview happily on national television? And the answer is yes, clearly,’ she said. ‘And there is lots of evidence of that.’ . . .”

“Soledad O’Brien Eviscerates CNN: ‘You Have Normalized’ White Supremacy with Shoddy Trump Reporting” by David Edwards; Raw Story; 9/04/2016.

Former CNN host Soledad O’Brien blasted the cable news business over the weekend for profiting off the hate speech that has fueled Donald Trump’s political rise.

According to O’Brien, the media had gone through “contortions to make things seem equal all the time” when comparing Trump to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“If you look at Hillary Clinton’s speech where she basically pointed out that what Donald Trump has done — actually quite well — has normalized white supremacy,” O’Brien explained to CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday. “I think she made a very good argument, almost like a lawyer. Here are ways in which he has actually worked to normalize conversations that many people find hateful.”

“I’ve seen on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates,” she noted. “And they do a five minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that.”

“And then Donald Trump will say, ‘Hillary Clinton, she’s a bigot.’ And it’s covered, the journalist part comes in, ‘They trade barbs. He said she’s a bigot and she points out that he might be appealing to racists.’ It only becomes ‘he said, she said.’ When in actuality, the fact that Donald Trump said she’s a bigot without the long laundry list of evidence, which if you looked at Hillary Clinton’s speech, she actually did have a lot of really good factual evidence that we would all agree that are things that have happened and do exist. They are treated as if they are equal.”

O’Brien insisted “that’s where journalists are failing: the contortions to try to make it seem fair.”

The former CNN host argued that the question that journalists should be asking is if Trump is “softening the ground for people — who are white supremacists, who are white nationalists, who would self-identify that way — to feel comfortable with their views being brought into the national discourse to the point where they can do a five minute interview happily on national television?”

“And the answer is yes, clearly,” she said. “And there is lots of evidence of that.”

O’Brien observed that cable news outlets were effectively being rewarded for bad behavior.

“So hateful speech brings a really interested, angry audience,” she noted. “This is genius! We should do this more often. What shall we do when this election is over? We’re going to have to think about ways to really rile people up, make them angry and divide them.”

“Because that is something that cable news, frankly, and everybody can cover really well,” O’Brien lamented. “So, I find it very frustrating. I believe he was over-covered at the beginning.”

“Now, it is ‘he said, she said’ all the time. We have lost context. We actually don’t even cover the details of something. We just cover the back and forth of it. It’s funny to watch if it weren’t our own country and our own government actually operating.”

2a. Compare, also, the back cover of Serpent’s Walk with the Trump phenomenon.

  Serpent’s Walk by “Randolph D. Calverhall;” Copyright 1991 [SC]; National Vanguard Books; 0-937944-05-X.

It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite – the SS – didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of their tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.’

2b.  The program notes the graduated nature of the takeover of American media by the Underground Reich.

  Serpent’s Walk by “Randolph D. Calverhall;” Copyright 1991 [SC]; National Vanguard Books; 0-937944-05-X; pp. 42-43.

. . . . About ten years ago, we swung a merger, a takeover, and got voting control of a supercorp that runs a small but significant chunk of the American media. Not openly, with bands and trumpets. . . . but quietly, one huge corporation cuddling up to another one and gently munching it up, like a great, gubbing amoeba.. . .. . . we have media psychologists, ad agencies, and behavior modification specialists working on image changes. . . . Hard to get people to love death camps. . . . We don’t try. . . . We play those aspects down and stress the positive ones instead: the efficiency and organization, the dedication, and the heroism. People will buy that. . . .

2c. Media bias in the current election campaign was compared with that of the 2000 election by Paul Krugman.

“Hillary Clinton Gets Gored” by Paul Krugman; The New York Times; 9/5/2016.

Americans of a certain age who follow politics and policy closely still have vivid memories of the 2000 election — bad memories, and not just because the man who lost the popular vote somehow ended up in office. For the campaign leading up to that end game was nightmarish too.

You see, one candidate, George W. Bush, was dishonest in a way that was unprecedented in U.S. politics. Most notably, he proposed big tax cuts for the rich while insisting, in raw denial of arithmetic, that they were targeted for the middle class. These campaign lies presaged what would happen during his administration — an administration that, let us not forget, took America to war on false pretenses.

Yet throughout the campaign most media coverage gave the impression that Mr. Bush was a bluff, straightforward guy, while portraying Al Gore — whose policy proposals added up, and whose critiques of the Bush plan were completely accurate — as slippery and dishonest. Mr. Gore’s mendacity was supposedly demonstrated by trivial anecdotes, none significant, some of them simply false. No, he never claimed to have invented the internet. But the image stuck.

And right now I and many others have the sick, sinking feeling that it’s happening again.

True, there aren’t many efforts to pretend that Donald Trump is a paragon of honesty. But it’s hard to escape the impression that he’s being graded on a curve. If he manages to read from a TelePrompter without going off script, he’s being presidential. If he seems to suggest that he wouldn’t round up all 11 million undocumented immigrants right away, he’s moving into the mainstream. And many of his multiple scandals, like what appear to be clear payoffs to state attorneys general to back off investigating Trump University, get remarkably little attention.

Meanwhile, we have the presumption that anything Hillary Clinton does must be corrupt, most spectacularly illustrated by the increasingly bizarre coverage of the Clinton Foundation.

Step back for a moment, and think about what that foundation is about. When Bill Clinton left office, he was a popular, globally respected figure. What should he have done with that reputation? Raising large sums for a charity that saves the lives of poor children sounds like a pretty reasonable, virtuous course of action. And the Clinton Foundation is, by all accounts, a big force for good in the world. For example, Charity Watch, an independent watchdog, gives it an “A” rating — better than the American Red Cross.

Now, any operation that raises and spends billions of dollars creates the potential for conflicts of interest. You could imagine the Clintons using the foundation as a slush fund to reward their friends, or, alternatively, Mrs. Clinton using her positions in public office to reward donors. So it was right and appropriate to investigate the foundation’s operations to see if there were any improper quid pro quos. As reporters like to say, the sheer size of the foundation “raises questions.”

But nobody seems willing to accept the answers to those questions, which are, very clearly, “no.”

Consider the big Associated Press report suggesting that Mrs. Clinton’s meetings with foundation donors while secretary of state indicate “her possible ethics challenges if elected president.” Given the tone of the report, you might have expected to read about meetings with, say, brutal foreign dictators or corporate fat cats facing indictment, followed by questionable actions on their behalf.

But the prime example The A.P. actually offered was of Mrs. Clinton meeting with Muhammad Yunus, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who also happens to be a longtime personal friend. If that was the best the investigation could come up with, there was nothing there. So I would urge journalists to ask whether they are reporting facts or simply engaging in innuendo, and urge the public to read with a critical eye. If reports about a candidate talk about how something “raises questions,” creates “shadows,” or anything similar, be aware that these are all too often weasel words used to create the impression of wrongdoing out of thin air.

And here’s a pro tip: the best ways to judge a candidate’s character are to look at what he or she has actually done, and what policies he or she is proposing. Mr. Trump’s record of bilking students, stiffing contractors and more is a good indicator of how he’d act as president; Mrs. Clinton’s speaking style and body language aren’t. George W. Bush’s policy lies gave me a much better handle on who he was than all the up-close-and-personal reporting of 2000, and the contrast between Mr. Trump’s policy incoherence and Mrs. Clinton’s carefulness speaks volumes today.

In other words, focus on the facts. America and the world can’t afford another election tipped by innuendo.

3aWe review the profound relationship of the Bormann capital network and Deutsche Bank:

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; pp. 139, 205.

. . . . When Bormann gave the order for his representatives to resume purchases of American corporate stocks, it was usually done through the neutral countries of Switzerland and Argentina. From foreign exchange funds on deposit in Swiss banks and in Deutsche Sudamerikanishe Bank, the Buenos Aires branch of Deutsche Bank, large demand deposits were placed in the principal money-center banks of New York City; National City (now Citibank), Chase (now Chase Manhattan N.A.), Manufacturers and Hanover (now manufacturers Hanover Trust), Morgan Guaranty, and Irving Trust. Such deposits are interest-free and the banks can invest this money as they wish, thus turning tidy profits for themselves. In return, they provide reasonable services such as the purchase of stocks and transfer or payment of money on demand by customers of Deutsche bank such as representatives of the Bormann business organizations and and Martin Bormann himself, who has demand accounts in three New York City banks. They continue to do so. The German investment in American corporations from these sources exceeded $5 billion and made the Bormann economic structure a web of power and influence. The two German-owned banks of Spain, Banco Aleman Transatlantico (now named Banco Comercial Transatlantico), and Banco Germanico de la America del Sur, S.A., a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank served to channel German money from Spain to South America, where further investments were made. . . .

. . . . The [FBI] file revealed that he had been banking under his own name from his office in Germany in Deutsche Bank of Buenos Aires since 1941; that he held one joint account with the Argentinian dictator Juan Peron, and on August 4, 5 and 14, 1967, had written checks on demand accounts in first National City Bank (Overseas Division) of New York, The Chase Manhattan Bank, and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., all cleared through Deutsche Bank of Buenos Aires. . . .

3b. In FTR #’s 919 and 921, we noted the participation of UBS in Trump real estate deals.

The program reviews the relationship between Union Bank of Switzerland, the Nazi I.G. Farben chemical cartel and the Bormann capital network, economic component of a Third Reich gone underground and perpetuated Mafia-like through its connections to decisively powerful economic and political interests.

Note that UBS has helped capitalize the Thyssen industrial group with profound historical, political and commercial links to the Bush family, as well as the Underground Reich.

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; pp. 160-161.

. . . .In 1948 a suit was to be filed by certain minority stockholders of Interhandel against the attorney general of the United States, as successor to the wartime Alien Property Custodian, and the U.S. Treasury, for the return of 89 percent of GAF (the American branch of I.G. Farben), of a value of $100 million plus $1.8 million seized in cash in 1942. Interhandel, through its American attorneys, first filed an administrative claim, which was denied. The suit then went to the District Court for the District of Columbia, then to the Supreme Court, and back to District Court. The Swiss claim was based on the argument that Interhandel was a Swiss corporation, that it was not nor had it ever been an enemy of the United States, and that it owned the shares in question. The American government rebuttal was that Interhandel was the result of a conspiracy between the private bank of H. Sturzenegger, formerly E.Greutert & Cie., and I.G. Farbenindustrie of Germany and others “to conceal, camouflage, and cloak the ownership, control, and combination by I.G. Farben of properties and interests in many countries of the world, including the U.S.”

As the case dragged through the U.S. courts, Schmitz would have Interhandel cosmeticized even more. Charles de Loes, past president of the Swiss Bankers Association, would be elected chairman, and the general manager of each of the Big Three banks would be appointed to the board. They would agree to this because the honor of Swiss banking and its principle of banking secrecy would be at stake. In addition, 25 percent of Interhandel stock would be registered in the name of Union Bank, whose manager, Dr. Alfred Schaefer, was of known integrity. The Swiss believed the association of such a man of high banking repute at Interhandel would impress American government authorities. But the German connection would still be there. Not only Hermann Schmitz, but also the banking connection of Union Bank of Switzerland, Dr. Schaefer’s bank, and Deutsche Bank, which acted in concert on so many deals involving not only I.G. Farben but also big Ruhr industrialists such as Thyssen A.G., the largest steelmaker in Germany. In January 1978 these two lead banks, acting through the UBS-DBCorporation, an American firm of the Union Bank of Switzerland and the Deutsche Bank of Germany, would be the financial advisors for Thyssen A.G. in its $275 million cash takeover of the Budd Company of Troy, Michigan, a leading U.S. manufacturer of auto components, truck trailers, and rail cars. UBSDB Corporation would also say that the West German companies it represented were showing a “very substantial interest in all sorts of American ventures, including mergers and acquisition.” . . . .

4. In connection both with Trump’s real estate holdings and John P. Schmitz’s corporate work, we review the control of German industry and finance by the Bormann network.

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile by Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 by Paul Manning; Lyle Stuart Inc. [HC]; ISBN 0-8184-0309-B; pp. 284-285.

. . . Atop an organizational pyramid that dominates the industry of West Germany through banks, voting rights enjoyed by majority shareholders in significant cartels, and the professional input of a relatively young leadership group of lawyers, investment specialists, bankers, and industrialists, he [Bormann] is satisfied that he achieved his aim of helping the Fatherland back on its feet. To ensure continuity of purpose and direction, a close watch is maintained on the profit statements and management reports of corporations under its control elsewhere. This leadership group of twenty, which is in fact a board of directors, is chaired by Bormann, but power has shifted to the younger men who will carry on the initiative that grew from that historic meeting in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. Old Heinrich Mueller, chief of security for the NSDAP in South America, is the most feared of all, having the power of life and death over those deemed not to be acting in the best interests of the organization. Some still envision a Fourth Reich. . . What will not pass is the economic influences of the Bormann organization, whose commercial directives are obeyed almost without question by the highest echelons of West German finance and industry. ‘All orders come from the shareholders in South America,’ I have been told by a spokesman for Martin Bormann. . . . 

5a. Again, a major element of discussion on this blog has been the spawning of the Bormann capital network from the political and economic forces underpinning Nazi Germany. Controlling the German core corporations as well as powerful interests around the world, the Bormann group is preeminent on the world economic landscape.

Noting that BMW and Audi are controlled by the heirs of Joseph Goebbels (whose stepchild inherited the Quandt industrial empire), A Bloomberg story notes that Mercedes-Benz also has significant capital participation by the Quandts.

In a series of comments on a blog, there was an exchange about BMW withholding ads when Atlantic reviewed a book about the Holocaust or WWII. BMW is owned by the Quandt firm, headed for years by Joseph Goebbels’ son-in-law.

To gain perspective on the brilliant, far-sighted, thorough and altogether cynical policy realized by corporate Germany and the remarkable, deadly Bormann capital network that controls it, we recap Dorothy Thompson’s analysis of Germany’s plans for world dominance by a centralized European economic union. (In this, we can see the plans of pan-German theoretician Friedrich List, as realized by the European Monetary Union.) Ms. Thompson was writing in The New York Herald Tribune on May 31, 1940! Her comments are reproduced by Tetens on pages 92-93 .

Germany Plots with the Kremlin by T.H. Tetens; Henry Schuman [HC]; 1953; pp. 92-93 [Supplemented by excerpts from the original New York Herald Tribune article, obtained from the library].

“The Germans have a clear plan of what they intend to do in case of victory. I believe that I know the essential details of that plan. I have heard it from a sufficient number of important Germans to credit its authenticity . . . Germany’s plan is to make a customs union of Europe, with complete financial and economic control centered in Berlin. This will create at once the largest free trade area and the largest planned economy in the world. In Western Europe alone . . . there will be an economic unity of 400 million persons . . . To these will be added the resources of the British, French, Dutch and Belgian empires. These will be pooled in the name of Europa Germanica . . .”

“The Germans count upon political power following economic power, and not vice versa. Territorial changes do not concern them, because there will be no ‘France’ or ‘England,’ except as language groups. Little immediate concern is felt regarding political organizations . . . . No nation will have the control of its own financial or economic system or of its customs. The Nazification of all countries will be accomplished by economic pressure. In all countries, contacts have been established long ago with sympathetic businessmen and industrialists . . . . As far as the United States is concerned, the planners of the World Germanica laugh off the idea of any armed invasion. They say that it will be completely unnecessary to take military action against the United States to force it to play ball with this system. . . . Here, as in every other country, they have established relations with numerous industries and commercial organizations, to whom they will offer advantages in co-operation with Germany.

Cer­tain con­di­tions will have to be met. No orders will be taken from or given by per­son­al­i­ties unfa­vor­ably regarded by the Nazis. No adver­tis­ing con­tracts will be placed with news­pa­pers directed by or pub­lish­ing the work of pro-Ally or anti-Nazi edi­tors or writers.…

The Ger­man plan­ners pre­dict a stam­pede of the South to col­lab­o­rate with this sys­tem. This stam­pede will be fos­tered and directed by their agents.”…

. . .”

5b. About BMW withholding advertising money when The Atlantic ran stories about World War II and/or the Holocaust:

LondonLee (922)
I worked at The Atlantic when Wallace wrote a (terrific) feature for them about talk radio. According to our managing editor he was a sweetheart to deal with.

True: Whenever the books section reviewed something about WWII or The Holocaust (which was often), BMW pulled their ads for that issue. . . .

. . . They were just very sensitive about it given their history. I was in the art dept so couldn’t tell you any details, it just became a running joke: “Oh, Ben has reviewed another WWII book! Ad sales will be pissed!”

5v. About the Quandt corporation and its control by the heirs of Goebbels:

“Nazi Goebbels’ Step-Grandchildren Are Hidden Billionaires” by David de Jong; Bloomberg News; 1/28/2013.

In the spring of 1945, Harald Quandt, a 23-year-old officer in the German Luftwaffe, was being held as a prisoner of war by Allied forces in the Libyan port city of Benghazi when he received a farewell letter from his mother, Magda Goebbels — the wife of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

The hand-written note confirmed the devastating news he had heard weeks earlier: His mother had committed suicide with her husband on May 1, after slipping their six children cyanide capsules in Adolf Hitler’s underground bunker in Berlin. . . .

. . . Quandt was released from captivity in 1947. Seven years later, he and his half-brother Herbert — Harald was the only remaining child from Magda Goebbels’ first marriage — would inherit the industrial empire built by their father, Guenther Quandt, which had produced Mauser firearms and anti-aircraft missiles for the Third Reich’s war machine. Among their most valuable assets at the time was a stake in car manufacturer Daimler AG. (DAI) They bought a part of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) a few years later.

While the half-brothers passed away decades ago, their legacy has endured. Herbert’s widow, Johanna Quandt, 86, and their children Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt, have remained in the public eye as BMW’s dominant shareholders. The billionaire daughters of Harald Quandt — Katarina Geller-Herr, 61, Gabriele Quandt, 60, Anette-Angelika May-Thies, 58, and 50-year-old Colleen-Bettina Rosenblat-Mo — have kept a lower profile.

The four sisters inherited about 1.5 billion deutsche marks ($760 million) after the death of their mother, Inge, in 1978, according to the family’s sanctioned biography, “Die Quandts.” They manage their wealth through the Harald Quandt Holding GmbH, a Bad Homburg, Germany-based family investment company and trust named after their father. Fritz Becker, the chief executive officer of the family entities, said the siblings realized average annual returns above 7 percent from its founding in 1981 through 1996. Since then, the returns have averaged 7.6 percent.

“The family wants to stay private and that is an acceptable situation for me,” said Becker in an interview at his Bad Homburg office. “We invest our money globally and if it’s $1 billion, $500 million or $3 billion, who cares?” (Italics added.) . . .

8. In a transitional element to the next program–dealing with Snowden, WikiLeaks and the high-profile hacks–we note that Donald Trump’s ideology and rhetoric are a development and amplification of what we termed “The Paulistinian Libertarian Organization.”  In FTR #’s 755, 758 and 759, we have further developed the relationship between the Ron Paul milieu and WikiLeaks/Team Snowden.

“Where Did Donald Trump Get His Racialized Rhetoric? From Libertarians”by Matthew Sheffield ; The Washington Post; 9/02/2016.

The intersection of white nationalism, the alt-right and Ron Paul

Hillary Clinton and her campaign have been going out of their way to make a surprising argument about Donald Trump: He’s not really a Republican.

At the Democratic convention, several speakers said Trump represented a complete break from the conservative traditions of the GOP. Last month, Clinton delivered a similar message in a speech linking Trump to the white-nationalist political movement known as the “alt-right.” “This is not conservatism as we have known it,” she asserted.

According to Clinton — and many conservative intellectuals who oppose Trump — the conspiratorial, winking-at-racists campaign he has been running represents a novel departure from Republican politics.

That’s not quite true, though. Trump’s style and positions — endorsing and consorting with 9/11 truthers, promoting online racists, using fake statistics— draw on a now-obscure political strategy called “paleolibertarianism,” which was once quite popular among some Republicans, especially former presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Formally, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) may be his father’s political heir. But there’s no question that the paranoid and semi-racialist mien frequently favored by Trump originates in the fevered swamps that the elder Paul dwelled in for decades. Most people who back Trump don’t do so for racist reasons, but it’s incredible how many of the same white nationalists and conspiracy theorists to whom Ron Paul once catered are now ardent Trump supporters. It’s because Trump and Paul speak the same language.

Mainstream libertarians have been agonizing over this legacy among themselves for some time, hoping that either the elder or younger Paul would definitively denounce the movement’s racialist past, but no such speech has ever come. Instead, the paleolibertarian strategy concocted decades ago as a way to push for minimal government threatens to replace right-wing libertarianism with white nationalism.

* * *

The figure whose ideas unify Pauline libertarians and today’s Trumpists is the late Murray Rothbard, an economist who co-founded the Cato Institute and is widely regarded as the creator of libertarianism.

Nowadays, many libertarians like to portray their ideology as one that somehow transcends the left-right divide, but to Rothbard, this was nonsense. Libertarianism, he argued, was nothing more than a restatement of the beliefs of the “Old Right,” which resolutely opposed the New Deal and any sort of foreign intervention in the early 20th century. Many of its adherents, such as essayist H.L. Mencken, espoused racist viewpoints, as well.

As moderate Republicans such as Dwight Eisenhower and “New Right” Christian conservatives such as William F. Buckley became more influential within the Republican Party in the 1950s and ’60s, the future creators of libertarianism gravitated instead toward the work of secular anti-communist thinkers such as economist Ludwig von Mises and novelist Ayn Rand.

There had always been some sympathy for racism and anti-Semitism among libertarians — the movement’s house magazine, Reason, dedicated an entire issue in 1976 to “historical revisionism,” including Holocaust revisionism. It also repeatedly ran articles in defense of South Africa’s then-segregationist government (though by 2016, the magazine was running articles like “Donald Trump Enables Racism”). But it was Rothbard’s founding of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in 1982 that enabled the fledgling political movement to establish affinity with the neo-Confederate Lost Cause movement.

Almost immediately after its creation, the Mises Institute (headquartered in Auburn, Ala.) began publishing criticism of “compulsory integration,” attacks on Abraham Lincoln and apologia for Confederate leaders. Institute scholars have also spoken to racist groups such as the League of the South. Rothbard even published a chapter in his book “The Ethics of Liberty” in which he said that “the purely free society will have a flourishing free market in children,” although he didn’t specify the races of the children who might be sold.

These and many other controversial views advocated by Mises writers make sense from a fanatical libertarian viewpoint. But they also originate in a political calculation Rothbard revealed in a 1992 essay lamenting the defeat of Republican white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in the 1991 Louisiana governor’s race by a bipartisan coalition.

Expanding on themes raised two years earlier by his longtime partner and friend Llewellyn “Lew” Rockwell, an editor and fundraiser for libertarian causes, Rothbard argued that Duke’s candidacy was vitally important because it made clear that the “old America” had been overthrown by “an updated, twentieth-century coalition of Throne and Altar” and its “State Church” of government officials, journalists and social scientists.

Besides commending Duke as an exemplar of the kind of candidate he was looking to support, Rothbard also invoked the “exciting” former senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin — not because of his economic views but because he was a brash populist prone to doing erratic things. Rothbard’s description of McCarthy seems eerily similar to the campaign that Trump has been running:

“The fascinating, the exciting, thing about Joe McCarthy was precisely his ‘means’ — his right-wing populism: his willingness and ability to reach out, to short-circuit the power elite: liberals, centrists, the media, the intellectuals, the Pentagon, Rockefeller Republicans, and reach out and whip up the masses directly. … With Joe McCarthy there was a sense of dynamism, of fearlessness, and of open-endedness, as if, whom would he subpoena next?”

To solve the problem that few Americans are interested in small government, Rothbard argued that libertarians needed to align themselves with people they might not like much in order to expand their numbers. “Outreach to the Rednecks” was needed to make common cause with far-right Christian conservatives who hated the federal government, disliked drugs and wanted to crack down on crime.

All of these paleolibertarian positions were offered in Duke’s 1990 Senate campaign and 1991 gubernatorial campaign. But they were also offered by another politician Rothbard admired: Ron Paul, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate in 1988.

Rothbard and Paul had known and worked with each other in the 1970s, when they came to know Rockwell. Rockwell would work closely with both men, serving as Paul’s congressional chief of staff until he left to found the Mises Institute with Rothbard.

Rockwell also was the editor of a series of printed newsletters for both men in the ensuing decades. Paul’s publications became famous during his Republican presidential campaigns. Their controversial nature is no surprise, given that Paul had coyly endorsed the paleolibertarian strategy shortly after it was devised.

Sold under various titles, the highly lucrative newsletters frequently stoked racial fears, similar to what Trump has been doing this year, though they went further — one even gave advice on using an unregistered gun to shoot “urban youth.” Another issue mocked black Americans by proposing alternative names for New York City such as “Zooville” and “Rapetown,” while urging black political demonstrators to hold their protests “at a food stamp bureau or a crack house.”

The publications also repeatedly promoted the work of Jared Taylor, a white nationalist writer and editor who is today one of Trump’s most prominent alt-right backers. Articles also featured anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and frequent rants against gay men.

Paul later said he didn’t write the newsletters. But regardless of their authorship, the image they created made him attractive to white nationalists. Those supporters weren’t numerous enough to get Paul the GOP presidential nomination, however, and paleolibertarianism began fizzling out.

In the past few years, however, it’s been reborn as the alt-right, as a new generation of libertarians discovered their hidden heritage and began embracing racism and conspiracy theories. Many alt-right writers trace their roots to Rothbard. As one of them, Gregory Hood, put it, paleolibertarian theories about race and democracy “helped lead to the emergence [of the] Alternative Right.” Rothbard’s call for “sovereign nations based on race and ethnicity” is very similar to beliefs Trump’s alt-right supporters express today.

In 2016, many, if not most, of the extremists who formerly supported Paul have rallied to Trump’s side. In 2007, Paul won an endorsement and a $500 campaign contribution from Don Black, the owner of Stormfront, a self-described “white pride” Web forum. Despite a torrent of criticism, Paul refused to return the money. This March, Black encouraged his radio listeners to vote for Trump, even if he wasn’t perfect.

After Rand Paul came to the Senate in 2011, and as he eventually began planning his own presidential campaign, there was some speculation that conservatives might be entering a “libertarian moment.” Things didn’t turn out that way. Instead, the American right seems to have entered a paleolibertarian moment.

 

 

Discussion

21 comments for “FTR #922 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 5: Walkin’ the Snake with “The Donald” (The Underground Reich Comes Into Plain View, Part 3)”

  1. Regarding the movements and individuals that have paved the way for the rise of Donald Trump, Vice has a recent interview of Ann Coulter, the conservative pundit who has been openly calling for the GOP to ‘stop sucking up to Hispanics‘ and stop trying to appeal to non-white voters in general and just focus on turning out the white vote by promoting what is essentially a white nationalist platform and worldview. Not surprisingly, she’s quite excited about Donald Trump. Especially since it sounds like Trump basically conceived of his entire campaign strategy, like starting off his campaign shouting about Mexican rapists, after reading Ann’s book about how Mexicans are destroying America:

    Vice

    How Ann Coulter Created Donald Trump

    By Mitchell Sunderland

    Associate Editor

    September 8, 2016

    It was an afternoon in early July, just before the Republican National Convention, and Ann Coulter was sitting in the back of a baby-blue Mercedes SUV, speeding through Thai Town in Los Angeles. Ray Bans covered her eyes, a Louis Vuitton belt wrapped around her waist, and the sun lit her blond hair like a spotlight. As ABBA’s “Fernando” played over the car stereo, she sipped coffee out of a green straw and pointed at a group of Latino people on the sidewalk. “Look, there’s a Thai!” she remarked wryly. “More Thais!”

    She’s taking me on what she calls the “Ann Coulter Tour of Los Angeles Immigrant Hot Spots.” In addition to Thai Town, these “hot spots” include Koreatown and Little Ethiopia—three historic ethnic enclaves that Coulter claims have been flooded by Hispanic immigrants. “We don’t have time for Compton,” she told me, “but you’ll have to take my word for it.”

    The goal of the expedition, Coulter said, is to show me the overwhelming effects that immigration—and specifically, immigration from Mexico—has had on Southern California neighborhoods. “They’re all Mexican. This is diversity,” she said. “Welcome to Thai Town! We’re gonna get a Thai taco. With any luck, we’ll get some Thai graffiti.”

    If this were any other year, Coulter’s comments—indeed, the very idea of an “Ann Coulter Immigration Tour” in the first place—would have seemed ludicrous. But new rules apply in 2016: Coulter’s anti-immigration positions, outlined in her 2015 manifesto Adios, America: The Left’s Plan to Turn America into a Third-World Hellhole, have been adopted wholesale by Donald Trump, providing the intellectual foundation for the Republican candidate’s signature policy.

    For better or for worse, that’s made Coulter one of the country’s most influential policy minds. “Perhaps no single writer has had such an immediate impact on a presidential election since Harriet Beecher Stowe,” the Atlantic’s David Frum wrote about Coulter last December.

    That influence was confirmed again last week, when Trump gave an immigration speech detailing a ten-step plan very similar to the ones Coulter outlined in Adios, America. The proposal included building a wall—which Mexico, of course, would pay for—ending the “catch-and-release” strategy to rid America of “criminal aliens” and banning immigrants from countries where the US is not able to complete thorough background checks, as determined by Trump.

    Like Coulter, Trump described new immigration laws as vital to protecting the livelihood and culture of working-class Americans. “Immigration law doesn’t exist just for the purpose of keeping out criminals,” Trump told an audience in Phoenix, Arizona.

    “It exists to protect all aspects of American life—the worksite, the welfare office, the education system, and much else. That is why immigration limits are established in the first place. If we only enforce the laws against crime, then we have an open border to the entire world.”

    As Trump continues to embrace her anti-immigrant positions, Coulter has in turn become an ardent evangelizer for the Republican presidential candidate. “I have been in heaven since June 16—[the] Mexican rapist speech,” she told me.

    She spent most of this past winter and spring telling anyone who would listen to vote for Trump, running what she calls her “shadow campaign” to get the real estate mogul elected. For months, she’s been making bets with Trump doubters she encounters at bars and parties—she claimed she won $5,000 from an assistant for one of the Koch brothers who bet Trump would lose the primary—but conceded it’s not a particularly effective way to elect a candidate.

    “I can’t keep cornering the anti-Trump people individually at parties and bars and forcing them to make a bet,” she said.

    On August 23, she published a new screed, subtly titled In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome! The book defends Trump as the “Great Orange hope,” making an impassioned case for the white populist nostalgia he’s brought back into the conservative movement. It has become her 12th New York Times bestseller.

    “People are saying it’s terrific,” Trump tweeted the day the book was released, “knowing Ann I am sure it is!”

    A little more than a year ago, before Trump announced his candidacy, Coulter thought her anti-immigration rhetoric would ruin her career. She worried Adios, America would flop and predicted television networks would ban her from the air for life. “I thought I would live under the Brooklyn Bridge,” she said, looking back. “I knew it would be the end of my career.”

    Coulter had started writing about immigration a few years earlier, around the time that then president George W Bush was trying to pass an immigration-reform bill that included a conservative plant to provide undocumented workers with a pathway to citizenship. In May 2007, Coulter wrote a series of attacks on the bill, under headlines like "Importing a Slave Class" and "A Green Card in Every Pot.”

    “Americans—at least really stupid Americans like George Bush—believe the natural state of the world is to have individual self-determination, human rights, the rule of law, and a robust democratic economy,” she wrote at the time. “In fact, the natural state of the world is Darfur. The freakish aberration is America and the rest of the Anglo-Saxon world.”

    After that, at the end of her speeches—about Scooter Libby, gun rights, Obamacare, whatever the conservative topic of the day—she started mentioning immigration. And the crowds would go wild.

    Adios, America started as a chapter, not a book. Regnery, the conservative imprint that publishes Sarah Palin, had given Coulter a deal to write a different book, but while doing research, she says she stumbled across what she believed was a conspiracy to mask the true number of immigrants committing crime in the country. Convinced that the media, politicians, and government statisticians had pulled the wool over the country’s eyes when it came to the real state of immigration in America, Coulter persuaded her publisher to let her devote an entire book to the topic.

    The resulting work laid out her immigration views in detail, including alleged crime and public-safety problems Coulter attributed to new immigrants. It also outlined a series of solutions that she proposed would fix America’s broken immigration system: building a wall, deporting undocumented immigrants, and placing a ten-year moratorium on immigration—all immigration—before implementing a new entry process based on labor skills, rather than family preference or per-country visa caps.

    In short, it was a set of ideas remarkably similar to what Trump is proposing in his presidential campaign.

    When the book was done, Coulter started sending out hardcover copies annotated with Post-It notes to Republicans that seemed likely to run for president. Then, shortly before the book was published, her good friend Matt Drudge encouraged Coulter to debate her ideas with Jorge Ramos, one of the country’s most respected Hispanic journalists. So in May 2015, several days before Adios, America hit the shelves, Coulter appeared with Ramos in a Fusion television special called “Ann’s America.”

    “If you don’t want to be killed by ISIS, don’t go to Syria,” Coulter told Ramos as they argued the points in her book. “If you don’t want to get killed by a Mexican, there’s nothing I can tell you.”

    One viewer was apparently Donald Trump. Shortly after the special aired, Coulter says, one of his employees emailed her asking for an advance copy of the book. About a month later, on June 16, 2015, Coulter woke up to see that her ideas had made an impact: Trump was running for president, using an anti-immigration platform ripped straight from the pages of her book.

    “[Mexico is] sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with [them],” Trump declared in his now-infamous announcement speech. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime.”

    In the weeks following, Coulter kept hearing Trump mention talking points she’d outlined in her book, listening proudly as he blamed the heroin epidemic on Mexico and attacked corporations for replacing American workers with foreigners on H-1B visas.

    “TRUMP READ IT!” Coulter crowed in an email to me this past March as I was working on another story for Broadly. “Anchor babies, building a wall, how many illegals are here (minimum: 30 to 50 million), Mexican rapists, immigrant crime, the heroin epidemic brought to us by Mexico, H-1B workers—all this is from Adios, America! You might have found some of that elsewhere (if you looked really hard), but the immigrant crime wave, and specifically the Latin American rape culture, has never been written about until ADIOS, AMERICA!”

    Coulter has described her opposition to immigration as being driven by “cultural” rather than “racial” reasons; in short, she believes Latino and Muslim immigrants come from countries with cultures that advocate rape, murder, homophobia, and drug use, and therefore pose a threat to both US security and America’s cultural identity. In practice, of course, her ideas are vaguely racial—and as some liberal commentators have argued, outwardly racist—calling for the preservation of American culture as defined by decidedly white British and Dutch settlers.

    Like Trump, she sees immigration as a threat to both the country’s safety and its national identity, striking a defiantly populist tone as she accuses immigrants of taking jobs from working-class people, primarily African Americans and the lower-income white voters who make up Trump’s base of support.

    “Immigration is never going to affect George Soros or Rupert Murdoch or Megyn Kelly or Rachel Maddow—it’s not coming to their neighborhoods,” said Coulter, who graduated from Cornell University and splits time between her residences in Beverly Hills, Manhattan, and Florida. “They don’t know anybody who lost a job because of a bad trade deal. They don’t know any steelworkers, coal miners, and they don’t particularly care.”

    This type of anti-immigration populism isn’t exactly new. The ideas Coulter outlined in Adios, America had been bouncing around the right-wing blogosphere and talk-radio circuit since at least the 1980s, espoused by conservative pitchfork-wielders like Pat Buchanan and more recently by the white nationalists and “identarians” who post on websites like VDARE.

    “In terms of writers and pundits, that was about it,” Coulter said in an email. “There were specifically immigration-concerned groups like NumbersUSA and fabulous members of Congress, like the sainted [Alabama Senator] Jeff Sessions, but those you could count on one hand.”

    It was the self-described “neoliberal” blogger Mickey Kaus, a prominent anti-immigration writer from California and close friend of Coulter’s, who first talked to her about the overwhelming presence of Latino immigrants in California. “No one needed to point it out to me—just visit [California] sometime,” Coulter emailed. “Mickey, like most So[uthern] Californians, noticed it and didn’t like it.”

    As we drove around LA in July, Coulter said the influx of immigrants to California—particularly those from Mexico—had led to a cultural shift in one of her favorite states. Looking around the city, noting the Spanish billboards, graffiti, and street corners crowded with Latino workers, she agreed. On our tour, she pointed out things like Mexican restaurants in Asian neighborhoods and the aforementioned graffiti, ordering VICE’s photographer to only take photos of her in front of signs in Spanish.

    “This is the heart of Koreatown,” she said at our first stop, a Mexican restaurant called Mexican Village on Third Street. “I just looked up a random address in Koreatown.” We drove past the restaurant and toward a parking lot where a Latino woman in a pink shirt stood with her family.

    “We are going to drive through, and you’ll see a lot of Koreans named Pepe,” Coulter added sarcastically. “We are just going to drive around to look at all the Koreans here in Koreatown.”

    For the first two weeks of Trump’s campaign, Coulter said she tried not to get too excited; she expected him to backtrack and ease up on his anti-immigration rhetoric as so many Republican politicians had done before. When he didn’t—and even doubled down on his hardline proposals, most notably the border wall—Coulter and Trump’s then campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, began corresponding with each other.

    The pair stayed in touch via email for the first several months of the GOP primary, with Coulter berating Lewandowski about the need for Trump to stand firmly behind his immigration platform. According to Coulter, Lewandowski, who was fired from the campaign this past May, promised that the candidate wouldn’t back down.

    Even after Lewandowski’s departure, as the campaign moved past the Republican primaries, Trump seemed committed to his anti-immigration stance. Though he studiously avoided giving specifics on any other policy plans, Trump continued to spout out details about what he would do to curb illegal immigration and protect American borders. And it worked: Conservative audiences ate up Trump’s message, handing him the GOP nomination because of, rather than despite, his controversial immigration positions.

    The nods to Coulter also continued apace. Over the summer, Trump announced an “expansion” of his ban on Muslim immigrants, echoing ideas laid out in Adios, America. And he got into a high-profile sparring match with Khzir Khan, the father of a slain Muslim soldier, who had criticized Trump at the Democratic National Convention, insinuating that Khan’s wife stayed silent because of Muslim opposition to women’s rights. The controversy, which dragged on for weeks, had Coulter written all over it.

    The result has been to fundamentally change the way that the Republican Party talks about immigration, moving Coulter’s ideas from the fringes of the conservative intellectual sphere to the center of the party’s policy platforms. And though Coulter herself has remained somewhat of a political outsider, she has appeared with growing frequency on cable news shows and in radio interviews and asked to translate Trump’s positions on the issue that has brought them together.

    “Ann’s influence has been huge and transformative,” Kaus wrote in an email. “Basically Trump read it, and it prompted his epic rant, which propelled his candidacy from out of nowhere. Tinder, spark. She understood that the MSM-suppressed crime news was an emotional and political point of outrage.”

    So what will she do if Trump loses? “First [write] a cookbook, and then mysteries,” she told me.

    And if he wins?

    “Oh my God, I won’t stop smiling! I’ll be so happy. I’ll dance a jig,” she said. “And the only job I want: FCC chairman.”

    “As Trump continues to embrace her anti-immigrant positions, Coulter has in turn become an ardent evangelizer for the Republican presidential candidate. “I have been in heaven since June 16—[the] Mexican rapist speech,” she told me.

    Yeah, Ann really, really likes it when people call Mexicans rapists. Even if she thought you were a boorish vulgarian before, all you need to do is characterize Mexicans as rapists and, voila, she’ll write a book about how awesome you are. She really likes people who talk about Mexican rapists:

    Talking Points Memo Livewire

    Coulter: I Thought Trump Was ‘Boorish Vulgarian’ Until ‘Mexican Rapist Speech’

    By Katherine Krueger
    Published September 13, 2016, 9:37 AM EDT

    One of Donald Trump’s most ardent and polarizing backers, the conservative writer Ann Coulter, said she thought the GOP nominee was just another “boorish vulgarian” until he launched his 2016 campaign with a “magnificent” speech calling Mexican immigrants “rapists.”

    “I probably thought of him – until that magnificent Mexican rapist speech – in the way a lot of the Never Trumpers do,” Coulter told Politico’s Glenn Thrush on his podcast, out Tuesday. “He seemed like a – I don’t know, boorish vulgarian. I never really thought about him.”

    But once Trump put immigration firmly at the center of his campaign, Coulter realized, “Wow, was I wrong.”

    Of course, Coulter detests the idea of Trump “softening” his hard-line, build-the-wall stance on immigration. But she was also in frequent contact with ex-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

    Coulter also fretted that Trump would immediately back down when the going got tough, but was finally reassured when the real estate mogul rolled out his expansive plan to ban all Muslim immigration to the United States.

    “[Trump] came out for the Muslim ban on my birthday, Dec. 8, my best birthday gift ever. I finally emailed Corey and said, OK, I think he’s not backing down,” she said.

    “I probably thought of him – until that magnificent Mexican rapist speech – in the way a lot of the Never Trumpers do”

    And just think, the entire Trump campaign might never have taken off to become the future-destroying force that it is today if Donald Trump hadn’t read Adios, America and turned it into his campaign theme.

    It’s unclear what news lessons we can take from this other than the fact that the Trumpian takeover of the GOP is simultaneously a stealth-Coulter takeover of the party too. Also, Donald Trump apparently loves reading horrible books. That’s seems like an increasingly important lesson to keep in mind.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 13, 2016, 3:00 pm
  2. Excellent series on Trump and insightful comment above.

    I’ve long thought that windbags like Coulter, Limbaugh, et al served as kind of bellweathers for fascist (I’m sorry – “conservative”) thinktanks and policy research groups. For years, Limbaugh talked about modifying health coverage to mirror auto insurance policies. Lo and behold: the high-deductible plans of today.

    Several years ago, Coulter wrote an article in which she yearned for the days when political candidates were crowned in back rooms by men smoking cigars. Citizens United gave her what she wanted.

    There’s probably a hundred more examples of these loudmouths testing the waters for other policies that have been or will be rammed down Joe Sixpack’s throat. Hard for me to read/listen to these folks anymore, but it can be fruitful in this regard.

    Posted by Sampson | September 14, 2016, 5:27 am
  3. Is Peter Thiel heading to the Supreme Court? According to two anonymous sources, it’s definitely something the Trump campaign is considering given Trump’s “deep love” for Thiel:

    The Huffington Post

    Donald Trump Wants Peter Thiel On The Supreme Court, Sources Say
    The eccentric billionaire endorsed Trump in a speech at the Republican National Convention this summer.

    09/15/2016 06:00 am ET | Updated 5 hours ago

    Ben Walsh Business Reporter, The Huffington Post
    Ryan Grim Washington bureau chief for The Huffington Post

    Donald Trump has made it clear he will nominate Peter Thiel to the Supreme Court if he wins the presidency, Thiel has told friends, according to a source close to the PayPal co-founder.

    Trump “deeply loves Peter Thiel,” and people in the real estate mogul’s inner circle are talking about Thiel as a Supreme Court nominee, a separate source close to Trump told The Huffington Post. That source, who has not spoken to Trump directly about Thiel being nominated to the Court, cautioned that Trump’s offers often fail to materialize in real life.

    It’s not clear whether Trump has indeed offered to nominate Thiel – only that Thiel has said Trump would nominate him and that Trump’s team has discussed Thiel as a possible nominee. Both sources requested anonymity, given that Trump and Thiel have each demonstrated a willingness to seek revenge against parties they feel have wronged them. In Thiel’s case, he secretly financed lawsuits against Gawker.com with the intention of destroying the publication. He succeeded, and his role in the assault was only revealed in the final stages.

    Trump’s press secretary, Hope Hicks, denied that Thiel had been offered a seat on the Supreme Court or that the campaign was discussing the idea. “There is absolutely no truth to this whatsoever,” she told HuffPost.

    “Peter hasn’t had any conversations about a Supreme Court nomination and has no interest in the job,” said Thiel spokesman Jeremiah Hall.

    Were Trump to actually nominate Thiel, he would be by far the richest Supreme Court nominee of the modern era, with an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion.

    Thiel is a venture capitalist who co-founded the CIA-backed data-mining firm Palantir in addition to PayPal. He also started a now-withered hedge fund and was the first outside investor in Facebook. He is a Facebook board member and the chairman of Palantir.

    Thiel attended Stanford Law School and worked at Sullivan & Cromwell, a prestigious New York law firm, for seven months. If nominated and confirmed, he would be the first openly gay member of the Court.

    Trump released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees in May. The list, which consisted entirely of sitting state and federal judges with years of experience on the bench, wasn’t intended to be definitive. Rather, it was a “guide,” Trump said, that was meant to be “representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value.”

    A gay tech billionaire who supports marriage equality, Thiel is a self-described libertarian and pursues quixotic projects like government-free sea colonies and infinite life extension. He would be a radical departure from the nominees on Trump’s list, but his nomination would be in keeping with Trump’s willingness to make unorthodox, contradictory decisions.

    Thiel is deeply conservative, however, and his more fanciful ideas can sometimes obscure his support for broadly mainline Republican policies and candidates. Thiel has given millions of dollars in total to candidates like Ron Paul, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina. Like Trump, Thiel’s core political belief appears to be that his financial success validates his ideas.

    In a 2009 essay, Thiel wrote: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” Part of the reason for that incompatibility, Thiel argued, was that women had gained the right to vote and that the government sometimes helps poor people.

    “Since 1920,” he wrote, “the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron.” (He later clarified his comments, saying he didn’t want to disenfranchise anyone.)

    In his 2014 book Zero to One, Thiel praised monopolies, arguing that competition destroys value rather than creating it. He also wrote about applying for clerkships with Scalia and Justice Anthony Kennedy as a younger man. Both justices ultimately turned him down.

    “If only I got the clerkship, I thought, I would be set for life,” he wrote. “But I didn’t. At the time, I was devastated.” Thiel explained that the rejection helped set him on the path to becoming an investor.

    UPDATE: 12:50 p.m. – After this story was published Thursday morning, Hall went beyond his initial comments, issuing the following statement to Forbes and HuffPost: “Huffington Post’s sources are lying. The truth is Peter hasn’t had any conversations about a Supreme Court nomination and has no interest in the job.”

    Trump “deeply loves Peter Thiel,” and people in the real estate mogul’s inner circle are talking about Thiel as a Supreme Court nominee, a separate source close to Trump told The Huffington Post. That source, who has not spoken to Trump directly about Thiel being nominated to the Court, cautioned that Trump’s offers often fail to materialize in real life.”

    Is this a real story? The sources claim that Trump “deeply loves” Thiel, which would suggest Trump is capable of deeply loving anyone who isn’t himself which certainly raises questions about the whole story. At the same time, embracing Thiel would be an extremely Trumpian in spirit. They are quite similar after all:

    Thiel is deeply conservative, however, and his more fanciful ideas can sometimes obscure his support for broadly mainline Republican policies and candidates. Thiel has given millions of dollars in total to candidates like Ron Paul, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina. Like Trump, Thiel’s core political belief appears to be that his financial success validates his ideas.

    Yep, another quirky billionaire narcissist who doesn’t always follow the strict social conservatism of most of the GOP but is otherwise a far-right nut job. That certainly sounds like Trump!

    So when you consider how much Peter Thiel probably reminds Donald Trump of Donald Trump, who knows, maybe he really does love Thiel. Deeply.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 15, 2016, 2:44 pm
  4. Instead of retweeting a neo-Nazis tweet – the Trump campaign’s method of choice for dog whistling to the far-right – Donald Trump Jr. just blurted out a ‘they’d send Trump to the gas chambers if he did what Hillary did’ neo-Nazi dog whistle himself during an interview. It must be a slow day on Twitter for the neo-Nazis or something:

    NBC News

    Donald Trump Jr. Clarifies ‘Gas Chambers’ Remark

    by Benjy Sarlin
    Sep 15 2016, 4:00 pm ET

    Donald Trump Jr. defended remarks about the media “warming up the gas chamber” on Thursday, clarifying to NBC News that he was referring to capital punishment and not the gas chambers used by Nazis to murder Jews.

    “Without the media, this wouldn’t even be a contest, but the media has built her up, they’ve let her slide on every indiscrepancy, on every lie, on every DNC game, trying to get Bernie Sanders out of the thing,” the Republican nominee’s son said in a radio interview on 1210 WPHT in Philadelphia Thursday. “If Republicans were doing that, they’d be warming up the gas chamber right now.”

    The remark drew sharp criticism from the Anti-Defamation League, which advocates against hate speech.

    “We hope you understand the sensitivity and hurt of making Holocaust jokes,” the organization tweeted at Trump from its official account. “We hope you retract.”

    Trump Jr. told NBC News’ Katy Tur that he stood by his point, but that he meant to refer to executions rather than the Holocaust. He said he normally uses the phrase “electric chair” to make the same point.

    The campaign followed up as well with a statement blaming the press for misinterpreting his remarks.

    “The liberal, dishonest media is so quick to attack one of the Trumps that they never let the truth get in the way of a good smear,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement. “Don Jr. was clearly referring to capital punishment to make the case that the media continues to take words out of context in order to serve as the propaganda arm of the Hillary Clinton campaign — something that’s only gotten worse as Trump’s poll numbers have improved.”

    In a statement provided by the Democratic National Committee, Pennsylvania Democratic Party chair Marcel L. Groen implied Trump’s “gas chamber” remark was a dogwhistle to anti-Semitic supporters, some of whom have used Holocaust imagery to harass Jewish journalists on social media.

    “It is horrifying that Donald Trump Jr. thinks it is appropriate to casually joke about the Holocaust — and even worse, he is defending it, saying it isn’t anti-Semitic,” Groen said. “My grandparents died in Auschwitz, as did some of my aunts and uncles. They died in gas chambers. As a naturalized American citizen whose parents came to this country after World War II, I ask Trump to stop trying to reach out to the worst of us; the bigots and the anti-Semites.”

    Trump Jr. and his father have retweeted extremist users at various points in the campaign, including an incident in which the senior Trump tweeted an image of Clinton, a Star of David, and a pile of money, that reportedly originated on a a racist Twitter account. Despite its apparent source, Trump claimed the image was a “sheriff’s star.”

    The comment came on a busy day for Trump Jr., who also drew attention for contradicting his father’s excuses on not releasing his tax returns.

    Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he won’t release any tax returns for himself or his business — which breaks from four decades of precedent and could could keep potential conflicts in the dark — because of an ongoing audit.

    But his son contradicted him on Thursday, instead seeming to imply that the campaign feared the public might find politically damaging information.

    “Because he’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from (his father’s) main message,” Trump Jr. told the Pittsburg Tribune-Review in an interview published Thursday.

    Topping off the day, Trump Jr. also tweeted that “the new aristocrats are in DC” and taking from “hardworking Americans,” a reference that struck some observers as odd coming from the son of a billionaire whose father was also wealthy.

    “Trump Jr. told NBC News’ Katy Tur that he stood by his point, but that he meant to refer to executions rather than the Holocaust. He said he normally uses the phrase “electric chair” to make the same point.”

    He “normally” uses the phrase “electric chair” to make the same point? Ok, so the alibi for why this wasn’t a neo-Nazi dog whistle is that Donald Trump Jr. has actually been talking about how Hillary lies to much she should be executed and he’s been talking about that a lot. He just normally doesn’t normally refer to gas chambers to make that point. And while it’s true that Trump campaign surrogates have indeed been pushing the ‘Hillary should be executed’ meme, there haven’t actually been any reports of Donald Trump Jr. making that argument. But he apparently makes this argument behind the scenes enough to have established a “normal” way of phrasing it and just accidentally used the term “gas chamber” while he was being interviewed.

    Yep, that’s his alibi, which means this is probably a good time to remind ourselves that laughable alibis for neo-Nazi dog whistles are, themselves, neo-Nazi dog whistles. So, of course that was his alibi. The Trump campaign just got a neo-Nazi dog whistle twofer.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 15, 2016, 7:39 pm
  5. Donald Trump just addressed the ‘Birther’ disinformation campaign he led for years that suddenly became a campaign issue after Trump refused to say whether or not he believed Barack Obama was born in the US during an interview yesterday. For some unexplained reason Trump’s status as the King of the Birthers wasn’t an issue before. But it is now. So Trump held a big press conference with a bunch of veterans and retired generals where he clarified his ‘Birther’ stance. For about 30 seconds, during which he patted himself on the back for his good work confirming that President Obama was indeed born in the US and then proceeded to blame the whole Birther thing on Hillary:

    US News & World Report

    Lies Upon Birther Lies

    Birtherism is back – don’t let Trump off the hook for it.
    Lies Upon Birther Lies

    By Robert Schlesinger | Managing Editor

    Sept. 16, 2016, at 12:35 p.m.

    If Donald Trump is talking, Donald Trump is lying. He lied – lied – in asserting Friday that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement of which he was the highest profile member. He didn’t apologize for leading a racist witch-hunt and shouldn’t be permitted to so quickly and mendaciously elide what for years was his signature political issue.

    Trump had spent the campaign assiduously stonewalling on his birtherism until he gave a classic non-response – “I’ll answer that question at the right time,” Trump told The Washington Post’s Robert Costa on Thursday. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.” – and all of a sudden it was a thing again. And with Trump pretending to try to appeal to nonwhite voters, he was forced to address the issue squarely, or at least as squarely as he is capable of doing.

    So he blamed it all on Clinton. “Hillary Clinton in her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it,” he said. This is – let’s be very clear – bullshit.

    The Post’s Costa called it a “widely debunked claim that Clinton and her campaign had questioned Obama’s birthplace in 2008.” NBC News’ Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann wrote Friday morning that the charge “is untrue. While SUPPORTERS of Clinton stirred this conspiracy on the Internet, Clinton or her campaign NEVER said/suggested/insinuated that Obama wasn’t born in the United States.” And they cite The Washington Post from last year: “Clinton’s campaign, one of the most thoroughly dissected in modern history, never raised questions about the future president’s citizenship.”

    So no, birtherism doesn’t have Hillary Clinton’s name on its birth certificate. And no, Trump didn’t “finish it” either. To the contrary, he nurtured it and pushed it until President Barack Obama himself finished it by releasing his birth certificate. And even after Obama put out said certificate, Trump continued to question whether it was real for years.

    Trump was no seeker of the truth trying to get to the bottom of a mystifying controversy. He was – and is – a con artist hawking whatever lunatic nonsense serves his purpose of the moment.

    We’ll now undoubtedly be treated to a stream of Republican hacks spreading the lie of the day; and we might even get some on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand press coverage duly noting that while yes Trump was a birther he says Hillary was too and her campaign denies it really who knows where the truth lies. (MSNBC, to its credit, had a chyron just now noting that Trump’s claim was false.)

    And not for nothing, Trump played the media, duping the cable “news” networks into broadcasting images of a stream of veterans praising him for nearly half an hour before he uttered two dishonest sentences and then refused to take questions. The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein summed it up perfectly:

    But let’s stay focused on the nut of the issue: Trump spent years touting a racist, crackpot conspiracy. He only walked it back under political duress. And instead of apologizing for doing so, he exhibited pride over his role.

    “So no, birtherism doesn’t have Hillary Clinton’s name on its birth certificate. And no, Trump didn’t “finish it” either. To the contrary, he nurtured it and pushed it until President Barack Obama himself finished it by releasing his birth certificate. And even after Obama put out said certificate, Trump continued to question whether it was real for years.

    Another day, another wildly success Trump trolling operation.

    Now we get to see if the media really does engage in ‘on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand press coverage duly noting that while yes Trump was a birther he says Hillary was too and her campaign denies it really who knows where the truth lies‘ antics. After all, the more the press protects Trump, the likelier Trump wins and the more fun press conferences like this the press can have in the future. And if there’s one this the press loves, it’s a Trump press conference. Usually. Although not quite this time. Why? Well, the press obviously loves to being a Trumpian co-troll and letting him get away with telling the American public almost anything unchallenged. But when the press itself is the target of the trolling? That’s totally unacceptable:

    Talking Points Memo Livewire

    ‘We Got Played’: CNN Goes Off On Trump’s ‘Rick Roll’ After Birther Debacle

    By Caitlin MacNeal
    Published September 16, 2016, 2:13 PM EDT

    After Donald Trump spent a mere 30 seconds addressing President Obama’s birthplace during a 30-minute event that started an hour late at his new hotel in Washington, D.C., the anchors at CNN tore into Trump and his attitude toward the press.

    Throughout Trump’s event and after he finally addressed his efforts to fuel the birther movement, the hosts and reporters at CNN called out the Trump campaign for misleading the press and using the event to promote his new hotel.

    As Trump let several veterans and military officials express their support for him, CNN anchor Kate Bolduan lamented that the network had been waiting 20 minutes for Trump to make the big announcement that his campaign had been promising. Co-anchor John Berman chimed in to complain about the confusing signals the press had received from the Trump campaign about the event.

    “To be clear, we have been told this event would be an event where Donald Trump would address his past trafficking in the birther issue, the notion that President Obama was not born in the United States,” Berman said. “He opened the event making a plug for his hotel, it is a new hotel, so in a sense, you could say he was leveraging five years of birther conspiracy to promote his hotel.”

    Jake Tapper jumped in to complain that while the military heroes endorsing Trump deserve respect, “It’s hard to imagine this as anything other than a political Rick Roll.”

    (The term “Rick Roll” refers to an Internet bait-and-switch-meme in which a link promising something of note goes to a video of the Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up.”)

    “They told us something was going to happen and it’s not happening,” Tapper said.

    After Trump finally made his brief statement — in which he also blamed the birther movement on Hillary Clinton, a narrative that has been debunked — Bolduan again noted how frustrating the event was to cover.

    “That was it. That was it,” she said. “This started at 11:04. And at 11:30 he came back to the microphone.”

    CNN then brought on John King, who trashed the way Trump maneuvered the press.

    “So I really don’t quite know what to make of that except for that we got played again by the Trump campaign, which is what they do. He got a live event broadcast for, what, 20 something minutes,” King said. “We just got played.”

    “There you got after, what, four or five years of leading a fraudulent, reckless campaign against the legitimacy of the United States President, you got about, what, six or seven words from Donald Trump saying he’s decided it’s over. I guess he gets to decide that,” he added.

    CNN’s Dana Bash also complained about how the press was treated by Trump.

    “What they did was tease us that he was going to say something, then as John said, played us by making sure that everybody who has an ability to show Donald Trump actually took 20 minutes, or got 20 minutes, of very important decorated veterans praising somebody who they think should be the next commander-in-chief, which would not have been live on cable news otherwise,” she said.

    CNN reporters also noted that the Trump campaign broke press pool rules after Trump made his statement. He only brought cameras with him on a tour of the Trump hotel, which kept reporters from asking him follow-up questions.

    In the next hour on the network, host Ashleigh Banfield continued to bash Trump’s event, drawing comparisons to the way foreign dictators treat the press. She noted that Trump’s brief comments on his birtherism came just one day after he gloated that reporters on his press plane were delayed and unable to fully cover his rally.

    “I can tell you, having covered a couple of dictators in my life in other countries, covering those campaigns is a bummer, because they don’t let you ask questions either. So that’s why the American press, love them or hate them, are critical to this democracy,” she said. “You have to be able to ask people questions if they’re going to lead you, and if they’re going to get your guns, your military, your nuclear codes. You have to be able to get to ask them questions.”

    “What they did was tease us that he was going to say something, then as John said, played us by making sure that everybody who has an ability to show Donald Trump actually took 20 minutes, or got 20 minutes, of very important decorated veterans praising somebody who they think should be the next commander-in-chief, which would not have been live on cable news otherwise”

    Well, at least now we have a general model for how to get the press outraged at Trump’s outrageousness:
    If Trump lies to and trolls the public non-stop, that’s totally cool. The media will be more than happy to assist with that kind of trolling as long as it’s the type of trolling that gets good ratings.

    But if Trump teases the press about a big event that they’re expecting to be a Classic Troll Trump stream of consciousness ratings bonanza, and instead it’s a different kind of trolling – a lame form of trolling targeting the press where Trump basically uses the event to promote his new hotel and trots out a bunch of veterans operating as trolling co-actors and unlikely to get great ratings – that’s just beyond the pale. Especially if the entire press corp doesn’t get to tag along during Trump’s hotel tour.

    Ok, it’s good to know where the line is with the press: The press is happy to be used in spreading Trump’s lies unchallenged. Just don’t lie to the press about the nature of the upcoming trolling they’re anticipating participating in. And definitely don’t exclude the press from the troll. Because at that point Trump will have a press problem. It’s a sad line, but it’s good to know where it kind of exists.

    So at least the press is kind of pissed at Trump for playing them for chumps. Let’s see how many note the fact that one of the veterans who introduced Trump was a birther:

    Talking Points Memo Muckraker

    Trump Introduced By A Birther At Event Where He Walked Back Birtherism

    By Tierney Sneed
    Published September 16, 2016, 12:06 PM EDT

    A birther supporter was among the Donald Trump backers who introduced the nominee at the Friday event where he attempted to walk back his birtherism.

    Retired Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney was one of the military vets who spoke at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.

    But back in 2010, McInerney wrote an affidavit that questioned the constitutionality of President Obama’s authority, based on the “widespread and legitimate concerns” about his birth records, TPM reported at the time.

    McInerney wrote the affidavit in support of Army Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin, who was refusing to deploy to Afghanistan because he did not believe Obama was a legitimate president, citing birtherism.

    Lakin was ultimately convicted, imprisoned, and discharged from the Army.

    “McInerney wrote the affidavit in support of Army Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin, who was refusing to deploy to Afghanistan because he did not believe Obama was a legitimate president, citing birtherism.”

    That’s right, a retired general who appeared to back Birther-based sedition within the military. That’s one of the guys who introduced Trump today. It’s a pretty obvious act of trolling. But it’s also an act of trolling that’s really targeting the public, a class Trump troll that the media normally facilitate, so it’s presumably not newsworthy.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 16, 2016, 3:07 pm
  6. It looks like we’ve hit that phase in the ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’-esque Trumpian news cycle that helps explain why the Trump campaign has been so enthusiastic about promoting the “Hillary Clinton has [insert mental health issue of choice]” memes that the right-wing media and allies like Alex Jones have been pushing for years, long before Hillary’s pneumonia scare. And yes, that would the “just how mentally ill is The Donald because he doesn’t seem to be in control of himself” phase in the ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’-esque Trumpian news cycle:

    USA Today

    After period of discipline, Trump turns more aggressive

    David Jackson, USA TODAY 4:59 p.m. EDT September 17, 2016

    Once again, the more disciplined Donald Trump is giving way to the Twitter-wielding Donald Trump.

    After a stretch of more low-key campaigning, Trump is spending the weekend under fire for comments about Hillary Clinton that seem to invite violence against her, fighting with the media, and engaged in a dispute with a former Republican defense secretary — all on top of a revival of the “birther” issue involving President Obama.

    The Republican presidential nominee is also virtually tied with Clinton in recent election polls, and says voters are responding to his message about striking back at economic decline, foreign policy turmoil and specific issues like illegal immigration.

    “A lot of people agree with me” on immigration, Trump said during a speech Saturday in Houston. “It seems everybody agrees. … You almost say, what’s not to agree with?”

    Eric Schiffer, an independent political consultant, said Trump seems to revert to more aggressive form whenever he is doing well and his polls are up: “Something happens, and he seems to lose the discipline that has helped him.”

    Trump engaged in more traditional campaigning Saturday, devoted in part to immigration. Speaking in Houston to The Remembrance Project, a non-profit that according to its website “advocates for families whose loved ones were killed by illegal aliens,” Trump said that “not one more American life should be given up in the name of open borders.”

    The Houston trip came a day after Trump sought to put the birther issue behind him, reading a brief statement saying he finally believes Obama “was born in the United States, period.” After more that five years of claims that Obama may have been born in another country, Trump did not explain his change of position.

    Hours later on Friday, Trump again raised the specter of violence against Clinton. Claiming that his Democratic opponent opposes gun ownership rights, Trump suggested that her “bodyguards” drop their weapons and disarm: “Take their guns away, she doesn’t want guns — take them, let’s see what happens to her.”

    Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook called the comment “out of bounds,” and said “we’ve seen again and again that no amount of failed resets can change who Donald Trump is.”

    The Secret Service protects both presidential nominees.

    The Clinton campaign and allies said this isn’t the first time Trump has linked potential violence to the Democratic nominee. Last month, while discussing Clinton, gun rights and the Supreme Court, Trump said: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. … Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

    Taking on Twitter early Saturday, Trump explained his latest comment in terms of the right to bear arms: “Crooked Hillary wants to take your 2nd Amendment rights away. Will guns be taken from her heavily armed Secret Service detail? Maybe not!”

    Trump continued to stay busy on Twitter Saturday, striking back at former Defense Secretary Robert Gates for pointed criticism.

    Gates, appointed to the Pentagon by President George W. Bush and retained by Obama, criticized both Trump and Clinton in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on challenges facing the next commander-in-chief. But while Clinton has “credibility issues,” Gates wrote that Trump is in a “league of his own” and is unqualified for the job.

    “He has no clue about the difference between negotiating a business deal and negotiating with sovereign nations,” Gates wrote. “A thin-skinned, temperamental, shoot-from-the-hip and lip, uninformed commander-in-chief is too great a risk for America.”

    Trump counter-attacked by tweeting that “I never met former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He knows nothing about me. But look at the results under his guidance — a total disaster!”

    The Republican nominee also expressed displeasure with the media in a string of Saturday tweets.

    For example: “@CNN just doesn’t get it, and that’s why their ratings are so low — and getting worse. Boring anti-Trump panelists, mostly losers in life!”

    For another: “Crazy Maureen Dowd, the wacky columnist for the failing @nytimes, pretends she knows me well–wrong!”

    In recent weeks, the lower-key Trump has engaged in outreach to African-American voters and to women voters, two groups that give him low ratings in part because of involvement with “birther” attacks on Obama.

    Less than two months before the Nov. 8 election, some analysts see two Trumps: one who appeals to nationalist conservatives, another seeking to reach more moderate Republican suburbanites, particularly women. Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, said it seems like he’s “telling people what they want to hear.”

    Hemmer added: “I would guess we’re going to see these two Trumps throughout the rest of the campaign.”

    “Taking on Twitter early Saturday, Trump explained his latest comment in terms of the right to bear arms: “Crooked Hillary wants to take your 2nd Amendment rights away. Will guns be taken from her heavily armed Secret Service detail? Maybe not!””

    Yep, Trump doubled-down on his Friday-evening “Hillary’s secret service should be disarmed because she supports greater gun control”-meme the next morning. It’s clearly something he’s sticking to, at least when he’s in Mr. Hyde mode.

    So is this a permanent new GOP meme? That politicians who propose gun control legislation should haven’t any sort of armed personal security, at which point the “2nd amendment people” would presumably do their “2nd amendment” thing. There doesn’t appear to be any sort of GOP push back so it sounds like that’s the GOP’s general position on this which suggests that talk they strongly suggests that Democratic politicians deserve to be shot is now a feature in our political landscape. It’s not like it would be surprising if the GOP promoted this meme in its pre-Trump era, since, you know, they’ve been pushing that meme for years. Just not their presidential nominees.

    Still, it’s possible Dr. Jekyll Trump will change his mind at a later phase in the Trumpian news cycle and walk it all back. Although, if the above observation by the analyst above, Eric Schiffer, is accurate, we aren’t going to see Dr. Jekyll Trump reemerge until he starts slipping in the polls. Because when Trump thinks he’s ‘winning’, Mr. Hyde Trump reemerges:

    The Republican presidential nominee is also virtually tied with Clinton in recent election polls, and says voters are responding to his message about striking back at economic decline, foreign policy turmoil and specific issues like illegal immigration.

    “A lot of people agree with me” on immigration, Trump said during a speech Saturday in Houston. “It seems everybody agrees. … You almost say, what’s not to agree with?”

    Eric Schiffer, an independent political consultant, said Trump seems to revert to more aggressive form whenever he is doing well and his polls are up: “Something happens, and he seems to lose the discipline that has helped him.”

    “Something happens, and he seems to lose the discipline that has helped him.”

    That’s our Trump! The better he’s doing in the polls, the more unhinged and authoritarian he gets. Isn’t a Trump presidency going to be fun?

    Interestingly, Josh Marshall also made the same observation about Trump, but upon reflection Josh thinks it might not actually be Trump’s recent surge in the polls that brought out Mr. Hyde Trump. Instead, after looking at the timeline of events over the past few days, Josh comes to a different conclusion: On Wednesday, hours before Trump gave his interview to Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that brought the whole ‘birther’ issue into the spotlight after Trump refused to say whether or not he thought President Obama was born in the US, Trump appears to have suffered a psychic wound of sorts when he was put in his place by an African American female minister at a church in Flint, Michigan, Trump. As Marshall notes, Trump was clearly seething from the incident and the emergence of Mr. Hyde Trump took place just a few outs later. So, if Marshall’s theory is correct, it’s not necessarily ‘winning’ that brings out Mr. Hyde. It’s the losses that bring Mr. Hyde Trump out, even minor losses for Dr. Jekyll Trump’s ego:

    Talking Points Memo Editor’s Blog

    The Fever Inside

    By Josh Marshall
    Published September 17, 2016, 10:53 AM EDT

    We’ve now seen one of those days which has become darkly familiar in the year of Trump. Trump is dominated, put on the receiving end of various perceived insults and assaults. In this case, it was being coerced by campaign aides into finally giving up the birther lie – which had to be addressed after the Washington Post interview and which I suspect they feared might blow up one of the debates. That was followed by a series of attacks from Hillary Clinton, a for once emboldened press corps roundly attacking Trump for the content and manner of his “major announcement”, a furious attack from members of the Congressional Black Caucus and a mix of outrage and mockery from everyone from Barack to Michelle.

    The response was predictable and rapid.

    Trump lives in a psychic economy of aggression and domination. There are dominators and the dominated. No in between. Every attack he receives, every ego injury must be answered, rebalanced with some new aggression to reassert dominance. These efforts are often wildly self-destructive. We’ve seen the pattern again and again. The Khans, Judge Curiel, Ted Cruz, virtually every Republican presidential candidate at one point or another, half the reporters who’ve covered Trump. We can’t know a man’s inner thoughts. But we’ve seen action and reaction more than enough times to infer, or rather deduce, his instincts and needs with some precision.

    Not infrequently with Trump, there are moments between candor and ingenuous transparency in which he reveals himself. One of the many came during the Khan debacle.

    I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2016

    Almost every word in these three sentences are those of a profound narcissist. Last night’s outburst – hinting again at the murder of Hillary Clinton – was basically inevitable. His teeth gritted admission that Obama was born in the United States had to be matched by a new lie about Hillary Clinton. He actually managed two. Trump packaged a narrow factual concession into two new lies. What might have been an admission or even an apology was presented as a personal victory for which the country and even President Obama should thank him.

    Trump is injured by attacks and slights as we all are. But for Trump they create an inner turbulence which forces an almost peristaltic response. The inner equilibrium must be reestablished. The salient fact about Trump isn’t his cruelty or penchant for aggression and violence. It’s his inability to control urges and drives most people gain control over very early in life. There are plenty of sadists and sociopaths in the world. They’re not remarkable. The scariest have a high degree of impulse control (iciness) which allows them to inflict pain on others when no one is looking or when they will pay no price for doing so. What is true with Trump is what every critic has been saying for a year: the most obvious and contrived provocation can goad this thin skinned charlatan into a wild outburst. He’s a seventy year old man with children and grandchildren and he has no self-control.

    But there’s one part of the last few days that doesn’t quite match up to this pattern or at least not on first glance. The fuse for yesterday’s debacle was lit late Wednesday night when the Post’s Robert Costa interviewed Trump on the tarmac in Canton, Ohio in his private jet. Already in this interview, the transgressive, belligerent Trump was back after a few weeks of uncharacteristic discipline. I could see it the moment I read the copy.

    As I’m sure many of you did, the moment I read the piece I could tell the fever was back: stabbing at the birther questions, lashing out at Anderson Cooper, boasting that he wouldn’t trim any sails or make any concessions. But why? Here was Trump, at the apex of what he’s managed to achieve in the campaign, drawing close to a tie with Hillary Clinton, lurching back into Khan/Curiel mode. When I read it it struck me as simply the truth of the man: feeling himself ‘winning’ he was entirely unable to resist the urge to lash out, strike out at enemies with what felt like his regained power, to regain dominance. He’s Trump; he’ll always give way to chaotic and self-destructive rages. To do it when he was riding high wasn’t a mystery to be explained but the most obvious time. It’s the novelistic fatal flaw.

    But reflecting on it, there may be more to the story. Only a few hours before that tarmac interview, Trump was rebuked to his face with cameras rolling by an African-American woman. It may have been the boldest rebuke Trump has received from a ‘civilian’ (not another candidate in a debate, or a journalist in an interview) in this entire campaign cycle. She even placed her hand on him in calling him to account.

    “Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done for Flint, not give a political speech,” Timmons told Trump.

    “Okay. That’s good. And I’m going to go back onto Flint,” Trump replied before ending the speech a few moments later.

    As usual, Trump’s reaction was characteristically meek in the moment. But internally he clearly seethed.

    Our report on the Pastor Timmons’ rebuke moved at 4:30 PM on Wednesday afternoon. Costa’s article said the interview was “conducted late Wednesday aboard his private plane as it idled on the tarmac.” In other words, Costa interviewed Trump at most little more than 5 or 6 hours after Trump left Pastor Timmons’ church. Trump made a few comments after his Timmons encounter, claiming she was a Clinton supporter who had set him up. They were the same kinds of passive aggressive jabs that began his fisticuffs with the Khan family. But in all the rush of news of this unbridled week, they drew relatively little notice. I can’t know, of course. But I suspect the fever really broke out in that interview with Costa back on his private plane and that the Timmons’ encounter was the spark.

    “Trump is injured by attacks and slights as we all are. But for Trump they create an inner turbulence which forces an almost peristaltic response. The inner equilibrium must be reestablished. The salient fact about Trump isn’t his cruelty or penchant for aggression and violence. It’s his inability to control urges and drives most people gain control over very early in life. There are plenty of sadists and sociopaths in the world. They’re not remarkable. The scariest have a high degree of impulse control (iciness) which allows them to inflict pain on others when no one is looking or when they will pay no price for doing so. What is true with Trump is what every critic has been saying for a year: the most obvious and contrived provocation can goad this thin skinned charlatan into a wild outburst. He’s a seventy year old man with children and grandchildren and he has no self-control.

    That’s pretty clear at this point: Either Trump has a sever inability to control is urges and ego. At least that’s how he behaves, although maybe he’s actually remarkably disciplined in acting like an unhinged person, which is possibly more disturbing since it would suggest he’s one of those ‘icy’ sociopaths with a high degree of discipline but a complete willingness to act like an unhinged authoritarian for political purposes. What exactly triggers the emergence of Mr. Hyde Trump is indeed a mystery:


    But there’s one part of the last few days that doesn’t quite match up to this pattern or at least not on first glance. The fuse for yesterday’s debacle was lit late Wednesday night when the Post’s Robert Costa interviewed Trump on the tarmac in Canton, Ohio in his private jet. Already in this interview, the transgressive, belligerent Trump was back after a few weeks of uncharacteristic discipline. I could see it the moment I read the copy.

    As I’m sure many of you did, the moment I read the piece I could tell the fever was back: stabbing at the birther questions, lashing out at Anderson Cooper, boasting that he wouldn’t trim any sails or make any concessions. But why? Here was Trump, at the apex of what he’s managed to achieve in the campaign, drawing close to a tie with Hillary Clinton, lurching back into Khan/Curiel mode. When I read it it struck me as simply the truth of the man: feeling himself ‘winning’ he was entirely unable to resist the urge to lash out, strike out at enemies with what felt like his regained power, to regain dominance. He’s Trump; he’ll always give way to chaotic and self-destructive rages. To do it when he was riding high wasn’t a mystery to be explained but the most obvious time. It’s the novelistic fatal flaw.

    But reflecting on it, there may be more to the story. Only a few hours before that tarmac interview, Trump was rebuked to his face with cameras rolling by an African-American woman. It may have been the boldest rebuke Trump has received from a ‘civilian’ (not another candidate in a debate, or a journalist in an interview) in this entire campaign cycle. She even placed her hand on him in calling him to account.

    “Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done for Flint, not give a political speech,” Timmons told Trump.

    “Okay. That’s good. And I’m going to go back onto Flint,” Trump replied before ending the speech a few moments later.

    As usual, Trump’s reaction was characteristically meek in the moment. But internally he clearly seethed.

    So was it Trump’s surging polls that brought out Mr. Hyde Trump or a public rebuke by an African American woman? Based on everything we know about the guy either seems plausible. Or how about both? Maybe he felt like he was winning, then he got publicly slighted, and the combination of the two factors created a situation where he couldn’t help but but revert to form and start dog whistling political violence again.

    Theses are the kinds of psychological mysteries that the American public, and the world, get to collectively explore should Trump get elected. If ‘winning’ brings out Mr. Hyde Trump, clearly the best way to make Trump act “presidential” (relatively speaking) is to have him lose the race to become president. If, on the other hand, minor wounds to Trump’s ego are the Mr. Hyde trigger, the obvious solution to keeping Trump in Dr. Jekyll mode is for the entire world to show him complete deference at all times. Otherwise My. Hyde comes out to extract vengeance for the damage done to Dr. Jekyll’s damaged ego. Good to know!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 17, 2016, 4:21 pm
  7. It looks like we have another Pokemon Go. The one of more of a precautionary tale since it’s about the public plans of the Alt-Right neo-Nazis and it’s unclear if they’ve carried through on those plans. But it’s also the kind of plan that sort of works simply by talking about the plan because it’s simply a plan to spread really bad ideas, as is typical with so much of what the “Alt-Right” does these days (it’s a much milder phase than the phase that comes after their bad ideas lead them to higher office). So it’s more of a cautionary precautionary tale that we probably shouldn’t talk about but need to know about anyway:

    Vocativ

    Alt-Right Recruiting Kids With ‘Pokémon Go Nazi Challenge’
    Alt-right neo-Nazis are targeting kids as young as 10 years old with Pikachu dressed as Hitler

    By James King and Adi Cohen
    Sep 07, 2016 at 1:00 PM ET

    The racist fringe of the now-mainstream alt-right movement is seizing on the popularity of Pokémon Go to recruit kids who congregate at “gyms” to play the mobile game, according to one of the group’s most outspoken leaders.

    Andrew Anglin, the neo-Nazi wordsmith behind the alt-right Daily Stormer blog, posted a story on Tuesday about an “enterprising Stormer” (a follower of Anglin’s blog) who is finding Pokémon Go gyms, which serve as battle grounds for players, and distributing recruitment fliers to kids with the hope of “converting children and teens to HARDCORE NEO-NAZISM!”

    “The Daily Stormer was designed to appeal to teenagers, but I have long thought that we needed to get pre-teens involved in the movement,” Anglin wrote in the blog post. “At that age, you can really brainwash someone easily. Anyone who accepts Nazism at the age of 10 or 11 is going to be a Nazi for life.” He added, “And it isn’t hard. It’s just a matter of pulling them in. And what better way to do it than with Pokémon fliers at the Pokémon GO gym???”

    Anglin declined to identify the “stormer” behind the fliers by name, nor did he disclose where these fliers have been distributed—saying only that it is in an “American town.” Vocativ could not find any media or law enforcement reports of neo-Nazis handing out the fliers in any city. Nor could experts who monitor people like Anglin and groups like the alt-right.

    The flier features run-of-the-mill neo-Nazi propaganda—it rails on Jews, African-Americans, and claims a “white genocide” is happening and white people need to stand up and prepare for the impending race war. The first step, the flier explains, is electing Donald Trump president. Step two is to “get active in the Nazi movement” because the “alt-right Nazis are the only ones who can save this country from the kikes.”

    “Adolph Hitler was a great man,” the flier, under the title “Hey White Boy!” explains. “Just as you want to catch all the Pokemon, he hunted a different type of monster: Jews.”

    The alt-right movement isn’t new but made national headlines last month when Hillary Clinton gave a scathing speech linking Trump to the oft-racist movement. Alt-righters generally fall into one of two categories: those who disguise their racism as “white nationalism” and don’t embrace the racist label in an effort to be taken seriously, and those—like Anglin and his followers—who wear their bigotry on their sleeves, as Vocativ has previously reported.

    Clinton’s speech came just days after a shakeup in the Trump campaign led to the appointment of Stephen Bannon, the former head of the alt-right website Breitbart.com, as the CEO of the campaign. As Clinton mentioned in her speech, Breitbart.com is responsible for white nationalist propaganda like a story titled “Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage,” and a sexist rant with the headline, “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive And Crazy.”

    Anglin has created a PDF file of the flier so other “stormers” can print them out and distribute them at Pokémon Go gyms and even provided a map showing the locations of gyms across the country.

    “These hotspots are packed,” he wrote. “No doubt, you’ll be able to hand-out a hundred in 30 minutes easy if you live in a decent-sized urban area. Get in and get out. Take a buddy with you.”

    “The flier features run-of-the-mill neo-Nazi propaganda—it rails on Jews, African-Americans, and claims a “white genocide” is happening and white people need to stand up and prepare for the impending race war. The first step, the flier explains, is electing Donald Trump president. Step two is to “get active in the Nazi movement” because the “alt-right Nazis are the only ones who can save this country from the kikes.””

    A neo-Nazi flier for kids with a two-step process for preparing for the impending race war: Step 1. elect Donald Trump. Step 2. Get active in the Alt-Right Nazi movement.

    And then there’s the instructions for the adult neo-Nazis: Go to these “Pokemon Gyms” – random real-world locations that players go to in order to capture the Pokemon living there – and hand out these flier to kids. Specifically to kids since their minds are much more vulnerable and impressionable:

    “The Daily Stormer was designed to appeal to teenagers, but I have long thought that we needed to get pre-teens involved in the movement,” Anglin wrote in the blog post. “At that age, you can really brainwash someone easily. Anyone who accepts Nazism at the age of 10 or 11 is going to be a Nazi for life.” He added, “And it isn’t hard. It’s just a matter of pulling them in. And what better way to do it than with Pokémon fliers at the Pokémon GO gym???”

    Anglin has created a PDF file of the flier so other “stormers” can print them out and distribute them at Pokémon Go gyms and even provided a map showing the locations of gyms across the country.

    “These hotspots are packed,” he wrote. “No doubt, you’ll be able to hand-out a hundred in 30 minutes easy if you live in a decent-sized urban area. Get in and get out. Take a buddy with you.”

    Did you hear that, parents? One of the American neo-Nazi leaders just encouraged his followers to congregate at Pokemon Go “gyms” to give your kids fliers about to prepare for a race war by electing Donald Trump and then joining the Alt-Right. Even if there haven’t been any reports yet of people actually handing out these fliers it seems like this would be more of a news story. Maybe it’s not considered topical.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 17, 2016, 5:19 pm
  8. Another day, another neo-Nazi dog whistle from Donald Trump Jr.:

    Raw Story

    Trump Jr’s ‘Skittles’ tweet is based on two different white supremacist memes — and Nazi propaganda

    Travis Gettys
    20 Sep 2016 at 07:25 ET

    Donald Trump Jr. drew widespread condemnation for comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned candy — but his analogy isn’t a new one, and it’s based on two separate white supremacist memes with roots in Nazi propaganda.

    Trump — the Republican presidential candidate’s eldest son and a top campaign surrogate — tweeted the image Monday evening in an apparent response to the dumpster bombing over the weekend in New York City, which his dad inaptly linked to the refugee crisis.

    “This image says it all,” reads the text. “Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first. #trump2016,” accompanied by the official Donald Trump/Mike Pence campaign logo and slogan. The analogy isn’t new, and has been used for years by white supremacists to overgeneralize about various minority groups. “It is often deployed as a way to prop up indefensible stereotypes by taking advantage of human ignorance about base rates, risk assessment and criminology,” wrote Emil Karlsson on the blog Debunking Denialism. “In the end, it tries to divert attention from the inherent bigotry in making flawed generalizations.” A spokeswoman for Wrigley Americas, which makes Skittles, whacked Trump’s dehumanizing comparison. “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy,” said Denise Young, vice president of corporate affairs. “We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”

    Joe Walsh, a single-term congressman from Illinois and now a right-wing talk radio host who’s been booted from the airwaves for using racial slurs, bragged that Trump’s meme was nearly identical to one he had tweeted a month earlier.

    The analogy, which has been used on message boards and shared as social media memes, originally used M&Ms as the candy in question — but that changed after George Zimmerman gunned down Trayvon Martin while the unarmed black teen was walking home from buying a drink and some Skittles.

    A Google image search of “skittles trayvon meme” reveals a horrible bounty of captioned images mocking the slain teenager, whose killer was acquitted after claiming self-defense under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

    But the poisoned candy analogy goes back even further, to an anti-Semitic children’s book published by Julius Streicher, the publisher of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer who was executed in 1946 as a war criminal.

    The book tells the tale of “the poisonous mushroom,” and was used to indoctrinate children in hate.

    “Just as poisonous mushrooms spring up everywhere, so the Jew is found in every country in the world,” the story’s mother explains to her son. “Just as poisonous mushrooms often lead to the most dreadful calamity, so the Jew is the cause of misery and distress, illness and death.”

    So Trump’s appalling analogy isn’t just unoriginal and demeaning — it’s actually racist in four different ways.

    “But the poisoned candy analogy goes back even further, to an anti-Semitic children’s book published by Julius Streicher, the publisher of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer who was executed in 1946 as a war criminal.”

    So that was how the Trump campaign met Monday’s neo-Nazi dog whistle quota. And then, of course, the campaign officially praised Donald Jr. for just ‘speaking the truth’:

    Talking Points Memo

    Campaign Praises Trump Jr. For ‘Speaking The Truth’ In Skittles Tweet

    By Esme Cribb
    Published September 20, 2016, 4:11 PM EDT

    Donald Trump’s campaign released a statement Tuesday afternoon defending his son Donald Trump Jr. as “a tremendous asset” amid backlash to him posting a tweet comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned candy.

    “Don Jr. has been a tremendous asset to the campaign,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in the statement obtained by NBC News. “Speaking the truth might upset those who would rather be politically correct than safe, but the American people want a change.”

    In the statement, Miller also criticizes President Barack Obama’s plan to increase the number of refugees to be admitted into the United States in 2017, calling it “a dangerous proposal that will put American lives at risk.”

    Trump Jr.’s anti-refugee tweet borrowed an analogy popular among white nationalists, with roots in Nazi propaganda. Ironically, the image in the original post was taken by a photographer who says that he was a refugee himself and would never have granted Trump Jr. permission to use his work.

    “Donald Trump’s campaign released a statement Tuesday afternoon defending his son Donald Trump Jr. as “a tremendous asset” amid backlash to him posting a tweet comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned candy.”

    Well, it is true that Donald Jr. has been “a tremendous asset” for the Trump campaign since no one, other than perhaps Trump himself, has been as aggressively reaching out to the white nationalist voter base as Donald Jr. He’s like the energizer-bunny of neo-Nazi dog whistles.

    It almost raises the question of where Donald Jr. learned to be such an efficient promoter of hate memes. He could have picked up the general approach from his dear old dad, but a lot of this dog whistling requires an awareness of the online neo-Nazi meme-osphere that’s constantly changing and getting updated. Keeping up with that is like a daily mission, which might help explain the daily dog whistles…Donald Jr. is sort of showing the world what new neo-Nazi meme he learned about that day.

    But it’s worth keeping in mind that the Trump campaign’s daily dog whistles aren’t just demonstrating to the world its growing mastery of white supremacist code words and symbolism. The campaign is also demonstrating to the world how to troll. It’s teaching by example. As opposed to folks over at The Daily Stormer, who are now simply writing neo-Nazi troll instructions:

    Vocativ

    Alt-Right Racists Teach Newbies How To Troll

    Racists are claiming a surge in interest in the alt-right since Hillary Clinton mentioned the movement last week. In reality, people are more interested in “Saved By the Bell”

    By James King
    Aug 30, 2016 at 5:43 PM ET

    Those on the alt-right’s most extreme fringe are trying to cash in on their moment in the spotlight after Hillary Clinton mentioned the movement in a blistering speech that effectively put them on the map.

    Andrew Anglin, a prominent voice in the alt-right, is using Clinton’s speech as a recruitment tool to get moderate racists in the movement to align with more extremist views. His blog, The Daily Stormer, is an anti-semitic breeding ground for racist trolls that Anglin claims is the “most visited alt-right website” in the world.

    “Now is the time to reach out to the masses to exponentially increase our numbers and finish (((them))),” Anglin wrote in a post Monday; the triple parentheses is alt-right code for Jews.

    Those in the alt-right movement generally fall into one of two categories: those who disguise their racism as “white nationalism” and don’t embrace the racist label in an effort to be taken seriously, and those who wear their bigotry on their sleeves. One of the trademark moves of those who fall into the latter category is trolling people online in the comment sections of blogs or news articles, many of which use the Disqus commenting system. Disqus will often ban people who make racist or sexist comments from commenting on articles. On Wednesday, Anglin explained to his followers ways to skirt a ban, and the proper way to troll as an alt-right racist.

    1) Your target is the millions of silent lurkers and NOT necessarily the comment-ors [sic].

    2) Do not get bogged down arguing with one or two people. Hit someone once, then hit them again and no more. Move on, the goal is to make MANY comments, not to spend hours on a single stellar one. Remember your silent audience. Make them laugh. Win their admiration. Give them a present (video, photo or link). Place your comments strategically within the top comments.

    3) If you see another red-piller, jump-in and offer support: “Brilliant”, “Wow. I never knew that.” “100 percent correct”, ” Exactly” , “Great link!”, Upvote him, etc.

    4) And this is crucial – Leave breadcrumbs back to the real Alt-Right. Links or videos that people can follow and learn for themselves.

    Anglin claims that since Clinton’s speech, interest in the alt-right is “exploding” and the racist alt-right needs to “lead the masses to our ideas, for they are far superior to anything that the Lunatic-Left could ever propose.” Anglin did not respond to Vocativ’s request for an interview.

    “4) And this is crucial – Leave breadcrumbs back to the real Alt-Right. Links or videos that people can follow and learn for themselves.”

    Wow, after reading that list of tips, and comparing it to the Trump campaign’s overall strategy for over a year now you have to wonder: Did the Trump campaign first learn how to troll the world by studying the Alt-Right, or is the Alt-Right learning how to troll better after watching the Trump campaign and that’s why their techniques are so similar? Either way, the synergy is undeniable.

    That’s a summary of Monday’s neo-Nazi dog whistle. We’ll see how Tuesday’s neo-Nazi dog whistle plays out.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 20, 2016, 1:22 pm
  9. One of the many grim questions raised by the 2016 election cycle is whether or not the Trump campaign’s daily dish of multiple barely hidden neo-Nazi dog whistle trolling is…

    A. Primarily intended to maximize his appeal to an electorate that rewards outrageous behavior.

    B. Primarily intended to maximize his appeal to an electorate that gravitates towards “F*$# the System” candidates because they are sick and tired of the status quo by completely obscuring from the daily news cycle the daily hints, signs and outright policy proposals that would make it clear that his presidency’s policies would be like Bush on steroids, i.e. The crypto-Nazi candidate.

    C. Both A and B about about equally.

    It seems like the answer is probably “C”. There’s just so much synergy between the crytpo-Nazi vibe and the GOPs endless need to obscure its policies.
    And assuming the answer is “A” or “B”, we should probably expect the Trump campaign to actually increase its usage of barely-crypto-neo-Nazi antics. Why? Because Mike Pence may have just spilled the beans about the kind of ‘populist reform’ the Trump administration would bring by making it clear that it would be the kind of populist reform we would have gotten during George W. Bush’s term in office if Dick Cheney actually had the powers of the presidency:

    MSNBC

    The Rachel Maddow Show/TheMaddowBlog

    Mike Pence’s VP role model: Dick Cheney

    09/19/16 10:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    In 50 days, Americans will have a new vice president-elect, and the honor may go to Indiana’s right-wing governor, Mike Pence. ABC News’ Martha Raddatz talked to Donald Trump’s Republican running mate b of the job.

    GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said his role model for the number two spot is the last Republican to hold the job – Dick Cheney.

    “I frankly hold Dick Cheney in really high regard in his role as vice president and as an American,” Pence said on ABC’s “This Week.”

    Let’s not brush past this too quickly, because Cheney’s tenure in national office was one of the more important fiascoes in modern political history. Cheney’s time as vice president was marked by scandals, consequential lies, deadly misjudgments, and routine incompetence. This was a vice presidency of undisclosed locations, a man who saw himself as his own branch of government, and an official who told a cordial senator, “Go f*** yourself.”

    Cheney left office with a 13% approval rating – roughly half the support Richard Nixon enjoyed at the height of Watergate.

    In private correspondence, former Secretary of State Colin Powell described Cheney as an “idiot.”

    In the same ABC interview, the Indiana governor added that, like Cheney, he hoped to be “a very active vice president.”

    If Trump’s Republican ticket succeeds, Pence is likely to be “very active,” indeed. In May, a leading Trump surrogate reportedly reached out to a senior adviser to Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) about possibly serving as running mate. At the time, Kasich was told Trump’s vice president “would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.”

    President Trump would prefer to focus solely on “making America great again,” while his VP did all the substantive work.

    It makes Pence’s Cheney admiration that much more significant.

    “If Trump’s Republican ticket succeeds, Pence is likely to be “very active,” indeed. In May, a leading Trump surrogate reportedly reached out to a senior adviser to Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) about possibly serving as running mate. At the time, Kasich was told Trump’s vice president “would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.”

    Yes, the Trump campaign isn’t simply a barely-crypto-Nazi campaign. With Mike Pence declaration that Dick Cheney is his role model and Trump’s previous offers to let his VP “be in charge of domestic and foreign policy”, it’s also a barely-crypto-Dick Cheney for President campaign. Or, perhaps more accurately, a barely-crypto-Even Worse Than Dick Cheney for President campaign of doom:

    MSNBC

    The Rachel Maddow Show/TheMaddowBlog

    Pence becomes the most far-right running mate in modern history

    By Steve Benen

    07/15/16 12:39 PM—Updated 07/16/16 09:33 AM

    Donald Trump talked with Time magazine the other day, and was asked about his impulsive decisions and erratic instincts, but the Republican presidential candidate waved off such concerns. “I’m a very stable person,” he said. “I’m so stable you wouldn’t believe it.”

    As for the Indiana governor, regular readers know I’ve followed his career pretty closely for many years, and we’ll have all kinds of detailed coverage as the campaign progresses, but on this first day, I think it’s important to emphasize a foundational point: Mike Pence is almost certainly the most right-wing vice presidential nominee of the modern era.

    About four years ago at this time, Nate Silver published an interesting analysis of Paul Ryan, who’d just been named to Mitt Romney’s ticket. Nate wrote at the time, “Various statistical measures of Mr. Ryan peg him as being quite conservative. Based on his Congressional voting record, for instance, the statistical system DW-Nominate evaluates him as being roughly as conservative as Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. By this measure, in fact, which rates members of the House and Senate throughout different time periods on a common ideology scale, Mr. Ryan is the most conservative Republican member of Congress to be picked for the vice-presidential slot since at least 1900.”

    Nate added a chart, highlighting the fact that Ryan’s record put him slightly to the right of Dick Cheney, who was slightly to the right of Dan Quayle.

    But before Pence became governor, he was a longtime member of Congress – which means we can turn to the same DW-Nominate statistical system to get a better sense of the Indiana Republican’s ideology. And the data shows puts Pence well to Ryan’s right.

    In the 107th Congress (Pence’s first, covering 2001 and 2002), for example, out of 435 members of the U.S. House, Pence ranked #428 – meaning that 427 members were to his left, putting the Hoosier on the far-right-wing fringe. The results were roughly the same in the 108th Congress and the 109th.

    By the 110th Congress, Pence was at #432, putting him to the right of nearly everyone in the chamber. The results were roughly the same in the 111th Congress and the 112th.

    Let’s put this another way: during his congressional career, Pence wasn’t just more conservative than Paul Ryan. His voting record also put him to the right of Michele Bachmann, Todd Akin, Steve King, and even Louie Gohmert. That’s not an exaggeration. Bachmann, Akin, King, and Gohmert all had voting records less extreme than Mike Pence.

    Indeed, the Indiana Republican developed a reputation on Capitol Hill as an ineffective extremist who, despite 12 years in Congress, was literally never the chief sponsor of a bill that passed into law.

    Now, Donald Trump wants to put him one heartbeat from the presidency.

    “Let’s put this another way: during his congressional career, Pence wasn’t just more conservative than Paul Ryan. His voting record also put him to the right of Michele Bachmann, Todd Akin, Steve King, and even Louie Gohmert. That’s not an exaggeration. Bachmann, Akin, King, and Gohmert all had voting records less extreme than Mike Pence.”

    Uh oh. It’s going to take a lot of barely-crypto-neo-Nazi dog whistle trolling to ensure the media is too distracted to cover the ‘worse than Cheney’ issue the Trump campaign has on its hands. Unfortunately, the kind of trolling required to distract from a story this big that shouldn’t be a problem.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 20, 2016, 7:13 pm
  10. Since it doesn’t appear that Donald Trump Jr. has generated a new neo-Nazi dog whistle controversy yet today (he merely defending more of his more recent dog whistles today), perhaps it would be useful to have a quick review of Trump Jr’s Year of Alt-Rightness. Fortunately, Digby provides with just such a review. It’s the kind of review that’s going to be particularly important for a figure like Donald Trump Jr. since, as Digby’s review reminds us, America’s long national Trumpian nightmare probably isn’t going to end with Trump Sr.:

    Hullabaloo

    A chip off the old block

    by digby

    I wrote about Trump Jr for Salon this morning:

    In the beginning of the 2016 campaign the only one of Donald Trump’s five children with a high public profile was his daughter Ivanka who has her own celebrity brand just like her father’s. The two older sons were unknown to the general public but they made quite a good first impression when the whole family appeared on a CNN family special. They are all so attractive and glamorous that many people came to believe they were Donald Trump’s best feature. Indeed, it was said that the fact he’d raised such an admirable family spoke so well of him that it smoothed some of the rough edges of his own personality. Unfortunately, as people have gotten to know them better, they’ve revealed themselves to be as rough edged as dear old Dad, particularly his namesake, Donald Jr.

    For most of the primaries Trump proudly evoke his two older sons when he talked about the 2nd amendment, touting their NRA membership and love of guns. It was a little bit shocking to see the ghastly pictures of their African big game kills including a horrific shot of Trump Jr holding a severed elephant tail, but they seemed to otherwise be pretty ordinary hard-working businessmen devoted to their family. For the most part they kept a low profile, serving as the usual family props in a political campaign.

    When Donald Jr spoke to a white supremacist radio host in March it set off a few alarm bells simply because his father’s extreme immigration policies had been so ecstatically received by white nationalist groups. But most chalked it up to inexperience and let it go. Surely Junior wasn’t as crudely racist as the old man who was reported to keep a book of Hitler speeches next to the bed. But just a few days later he retweeted a racist science fiction writer named Theodore Beale who goes by the handle of “Vox Day” claiming that a famous picture of a Trump supporter giving a Nazi salute was actually a follower of Bernie Sanders. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree after all.

    At the GOP convention in July, all four of the grown kids gave heartfelt speeches about their Dad, even as they made clear through their childhood anecdotes that the only time they ever spent with him was at the office and it seemed that Junior in particular had taken a more active role and was seen in a more serious light. people were talking about him as a moderating voice in the campaign.

    Right after the convention, however, he let out a deafening dogwhistle that left no doubt as to his personal affiliation with the far right. He went to the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia Mississippi, best remembered as the place where three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964. But it has special political significance as the site of Ronald Reagan’s famous "states’ rights" speech in 1980 where he signaled his sympathy for white supremacy by delivering it at the scene of that horrendous racist crime. (The man who coined the term “welfare queen” was always a champion dogwhistler.) Trump Jr went there to represent and represent he did. When asked what he thought about the confederate flag he said, “I believe in tradition. I don’t see a lot of the nonsense that’s been created about that.”

    Since then it’s been revealed that he follows a number of white nationalists on twitter and he’s retweeted several including a a psychologist who believes Jews manipulate society. And in the last couple of weeks Junior has let his alt-right freak flag fly. First he got excited about Hillary Clinton’s “deplorable” comment and proudly retweeted a picture with the title "The Deplorables" that had been making the rounds featuring Trump, Mike Pence, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Eric Trump and Donald Jr along with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, right wing hit man Roger Stone, alt-right leader Milo Yianopolis and white supremacist symbol Pepe the Frog. There’s no indication that any of them had a problem with that but a lot of other people found it to be revealing, to say the least.

    A couple of days later Trump Jr stepped in it again, saying the media would be "warming up the gas chamber" for Republicans if they lied and cheated the way Hillary Clinton does. He claimed he was talking about capital punishment but his association with virulent anti-Semites makes that claim ring a little bit hollow.

    And then there was the Skittles incident. Donald Jr tweeted out a deeply offensive image of a bowl of skittles with the words "If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you three would kill you would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem." It’s a terrible metaphor, wrong in every way and Donald Jr took some heat for it. But it’s yet another window into his association with alt-right white nationalism. That bad metaphor has been around in various forms for a long time. In this country it was usually a bowl of M&Ms representing black people.. The people who traffic in this garbage fairly recently changed it to Skittles because that was the candy Trayvon Martin had bought on the night he was murdered by vigilante George Zimmerman. Yes, it’s that sick.

    You hear pundits and commentators saying that Donald Trump is sui generis and his phenomenon won’t be recreated. They’re probably right. But perhaps they are not aware that his son also has political ambitions and he is simply a younger, better looking version of his father with much more hair. If alt-right white nationalism is going to be an ongoing feature of American political life, they have their leader. He is one of them.

    “You hear pundits and commentators saying that Donald Trump is sui generis and his phenomenon won’t be recreated. They’re probably right. But perhaps they are not aware that his son also has political ambitions and he is simply a younger, better looking version of his father with much more hair. If alt-right white nationalism is going to be an ongoing feature of American political life, they have their leader. He is one of them.

    Well, that was a helpful summary. And, given the actual content of the summary, horribly ominous too:

    Salon

    Yikes! Now Donald Trump Jr. says he would “love” to run for office “as a patriot”

    After his questionable speech to the RNC, Trump Jr. said he “would consider” running once his kids finish school

    Sophia Tesfaye
    Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 09:08 AM CST

    Calling it “one of the most thrilling moments of my life,” Donald Trump Jr. brushed aside burgeoning controversy surrounding the second Trump family speech at the RNC in as many days while speaking with the Wall Street Journal Wednesday morning.

    The oldest son of the Republican presidential nominee said that while he still has “a lot to do in my own career,” he would seriously consider following in his father’s footsteps out of real estate and into political life.

    The 38-year-old New Yorker said that “maybe when the kids get out of school I would consider it.” The father of five explained that he’d “love to be able to do it, as a patriot.”

    His seemingly premature flirtation with political office comes hours after he delivered a major address to the RNC Tuesday evening — a speech that has already been flagged as a potential second case of Trump family plagiarism.

    https://twitter.com/TheDailyShow/status/755601024908300288

    While Trump Jr. told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that “We [the Trump kids] all took a lot of pride. We all wrote the speeches ourselves,” American Conservative columnist told Vox News that the apparently lifted portions can’t be considered plagiarism because he wrote both the original column and the Trump’s speech.

    So while he may not be a plagiarizer in the new conservative definition of the word (my college professors always warned against recycling my own work for new courses) it looks like we may have another Donald Trump popping up on the political landscape very soon.

    “The 38-year-old New Yorker said that “maybe when the kids get out of school I would consider it.” The father of five explained that he’d “love to be able to do it, as a patriot.”

    Yes, Donald Trump Jr. is clearly so enamored with the work he’s doing as the Trump campaign’s white nationalist outreach specialist that he could end up being one of the permanent political fixtures in US politics. It’s a reminder that Donald Jr. isn’t just dog whistling neo-Nazis on a near daily basis to help his dad’s current political ambitions. He’s helping his own future political ambitions too…assuming neo-Nazi dog whistles remains politically helpful in the future when Donald Jr. plans on running “as a patriot”. That, in turns, depends a lot on how successful the Trump campaign is this year at popularizing the “Alt-Right”. Uh oh.

    So as we can see, Donald Trump Jr.’s neo-Nazi dog whistles aren’t just horribly repackaged echoes of horrible ideas from the past. They’re echoes back in time from our possibly horrible future ideas too.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 21, 2016, 2:31 pm
  11. On the same day that Donald Trump lamented the lack of a “spirit of togetherness” between black and white communities (during a speech in which he blamed President Obama for those racial tensions), it’s worth noting that we may have seen a kind of accidental high point in the Trump campaign’s African American outreach. No, the high point obviously wasn’t that speech. The high point actually happened in response to a new low and is an appallingly low high point by high point standards. But still, a high point may have just happened.

    First, let’s take a look at that new low point we also saw today:

    The Guardian

    Ohio Trump campaign chair Kathy Miller says there was ‘no racism’ before Obama

    Kathy Miller called the Black Lives Matter movement ‘a stupid waste of time’ and said low African American voter turnout could be due to ‘the way they’re raised’

    Paul Lewis and Tom Silverstone in Youngstown, Ohio

    Thursday 22 September 2016 07.00 EDT

    Donald Trump’s campaign chair in a prominent Ohio county has claimed there was “no racism” during the 1960s and said black people who have not succeeded over the past half-century only have themselves to blame.

    Kathy Miller, who is white and chair of the Republican nominee’s campaign in Mahoning County, made the remarks during a taped interview with the Guardian’s Anywhere but Washington series of election videos.

    “If you’re black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault. You’ve had every opportunity, it was given to you,” she said.

    “You’ve had the same schools everybody else went to. You had benefits to go to college that white kids didn’t have. You had all the advantages and didn’t take advantage of it. It’s not our fault, certainly.”

    Miller also called the Black Lives Matter movement “a stupid waste of time” and said lower voter turnout among African Americans could be related to “the way they’re raised”.

    Trump has repeatedly stumbled in his push to attract black voters, an effort that began with his declaration last month that African Americans have “nothing to lose” by voting for him.

    His latest effort at outreach involved a visit to a black church in Cleveland on Wednesday, when cameras captured the Republican nominee chuckling after boxing promoter Don King used the N-word.

    Mahoning, the eastern Ohio county where Miller is coordinating Trump’s campaign, is a historically Democratic stronghold that includes Youngstown, a former steel city that has experienced decades of economic decline.

    The county is reputedly “ground-zero” for disaffected white, working-class Democrats who are drawn to Trump’s promise to boost manufacturing by renegotiating international free-trade agreements.

    Before the primaries, some 6,000 Democrats in Mahoning switched party affiliation to Republican, reportedly to vote for Trump.

    Miller, a real estate broker, said that the Democrats switching over to her party were mostly older, white voters.

    She said there were “some” African Americans but played down their importance, suggesting they were only a small portion of the population and do not tend to turn out in elections in significant numbers.

    African Americans constitute 16% of Mahoning county’s population, which is larger than the state and national average.

    During the past two presidential elections, voter turnout in Ohio was actually higher among black people than white people.

    Miller, however, suggested low turnout among black people could be connected to culture. “I don’t think that’s part of the way they’re raised,” she said. “For us, I mean, that was something we all did in our families, we all voted.”

    Miller also dismissed the racial tensions of the 1960s, when she said she graduated from high school. “Growing up as a kid, there was no racism, believe me. We were just all kids going to school.”

    Asked about segregation and the civil rights movement, she replied: “I never experienced it. I never saw that as anything.”

    Miller added: “I don’t think there was any racism until Obama got elected. We never had problems like this … Now, with the people with the guns, and shooting up neighborhoods, and not being responsible citizens, that’s a big change, and I think that’s the philosophy that Obama has perpetuated on America.”

    Miller dismissed the suggestion that Trump was exploiting racist or prejudiced views among some voters as “the media making stuff up”. Instead, she said of the Republican nominee: “He’s very willing to talk about issues that have never been discussed publicly.”

    When it was pointed out that some people might find her remarks offensive, Miller replied: “I don’t care, it’s the truth.”

    “Miller added: “I don’t think there was any racism until Obama got elected. We never had problems like this … Now, with the people with the guns, and shooting up neighborhoods, and not being responsible citizens, that’s a big change, and I think that’s the philosophy that Obama has perpetuated on America.””

    So that was a nice preview of what American History textbooks are going to look like in a few decades after our Trumpian revolution. But we aren’t there yet. No, believe it or not, after giving that rather eye-opening interview, the chair of the Republican nominee’s campaign in Mahoning County – one of the Ohio counties most impacted by electronic voting machine ‘mysteries’ in 2004 – did the unthinkable. She resigned!

    Yes, a Trump campaign official said something mind-numbingly racist and actually resigned as a result. Isn’t this a Trump campaign first? And, no, the mass resignation of the Trump Latino advisors who resigned in protest after that Trump surrogate warned about Taco Trucks on every corner doesn’t count.

    So isn’t Miller’s resignation a first for the Trump campaign? If so, it sure looks like we’ve hit some sort of Trumpian race relations high point simply by discovering that there really is a line that can be crossed that will actually lead to a resignation. Granted, it might be a resignation that has more to do with the bad press that interview generated as opposed to any profound disagreement between Miller and the Trump campaign. Still, even discovering there’s a line at all is kind of significant. Behold our high point! We did it, America! Together.

    And who knows, maybe this is just the first in what will a long string of resignations as the Trump campaign decides to purge itself of aggressively racist surrogates. Or, you know, maybe not.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 22, 2016, 9:00 pm
  12. With the big first Clinton/Trump debate just around the corner and Trump and Clinton in a virtual dead heat in national polls, some preemptive wincing at the media’s inevitable attempts to spin Trump into the White House – so we can have extra high ratings for the next four years while the world burns – is probably in order. So here goes! *wince*:

    The New York Times
    The Conscience of a Liberal

    The Falsity of False Equivalence

    Paul Krugman
    September 26, 2016 3:51 am September 26, 2016 3:51 am

    If Donald Trump becomes president, the news media will bear a large share of the blame. I know some (many) journalists are busy denying responsibility, but this is absurd, and I think they know it. As Nick Kristof says, polls showing that the public considers Hillary Clinton, a minor fibber at most, less trustworthy than a pathological liar is prima facie evidence of massive media failure.

    In fact, it’s telling that this debate is usually framed as one of false equivalence and whether it’s a problem. It’s a lot better to have this debate than a continuation of the unchecked media assault on Clinton. But it’s actually much worse than that. The media haven’t treated Clinton fibs as the equivalent of outright Trump lies; they have treated more or less innocuous Clintonisms as major scandals while whitewashing Trump. Put simply, until the past few days the media have had it in for Clinton; only now, at the last moment or possibly after the last moment has the enormity of the sin begun to sink in.

    Think about the Matt Lauer debacle. That wasn’t a case of false equivalence; a rough summary of his performance would be “Emails, emails, emails; yes, Mr. Trump, whatever you say, Mr. Trump.” One candidate was repeatedly harassed over something trivial, the other allowed to slide on grotesque falsehoods.

    Or as Jonathan Chait says, the problem hasn’t just been the normalization of Trump, it has been the abnormalization of Clinton. Consider the AP report on the Clinton Foundation. An honest report would have said, “The foundation arguably creates the possibility of self-dealing and undue influence, but we’ve looked hard and haven’t found much of anything.” Instead, the report played up meetings with a Nobel Peace Prize winner as being somehow scandalous.

    And it’s still happening, if not quite so relentlessly. We’re still seeing reports about how something Clinton did “raises questions,” “casts shadows,” etc. – weasel words that allow reporters to write negative stories regardless of the facts.

    I’ve compared this to what went down in the 2000 campaign; Nick compares it to what happened in the runup to the Iraq war. Pick your analogy. But let’s use Nick’s example: actually, the media didn’t do false equivalence in 2002. What they – alas, including this paper – actually did was to breathlessly hype the case for war, reporting as an inside scoop everything that Dick Cheney fed them, while freezing out critics and skeptics. The other side was out there; McClatchy found plenty of insiders willing to say that we were being sold a bill of goods. But the skeptics couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Effectively, the media were pro-war.

    And this time they have effectively been pro-Trump – actually anti-Clinton, but it comes to the same thing. I doubt that reporters or even editors have thought of themselves as trying to elect Trump; many of them will be horrified if he wins. But they went all in on Clinton Rules, under which sneering at and razzing a Clinton is considered good for your career. It’s really more like high school than high journalism, but it may have horrendous consequences.

    A lot depends on whether the same behavior continues for the final stretch. If the media report on the debates the way they did in 2000 – if substance is replaced by descriptions of Clinton’s facial expressions, her sighs, or how she “comes across,” while downplaying Trump’s raw lies, say hello to the Trump White House. And history will not forgive the people who made it possible.

    “A lot depends on whether the same behavior continues for the final stretch. If the media report on the debates the way they did in 2000 – if substance is replaced by descriptions of Clinton’s facial expressions, her sighs, or how she “comes across,” while downplaying Trump’s raw lies, say hello to the Trump White House. And history will not forgive the people who made it possible.”

    Yes, history might not forgive the people who did what they could to make it possible for a Trump administration to irreversibly damage the course of history and destroy the hopes and dreams of future generations. But keep in mind that history might not actually be all that relevant in a post-fact/post-history Trumpian future. Destroying the future doesn’t have to have future repercussions if you destroy the future so thoroughly the future can’t remember the past.

    So get ready for an abundance of media spin about how Donald “what good are nukes if we can’t use them” Trump won the debate because he didn’t murder someone on stage. As long as he wins, those who helped him win don’t have to worry about their history legacy because the future will already be lost. And just imagine the ratings President Trump will generate in the process. Hooray! *wince*:

    Talking Points Memo Livewire

    Debate Commission, Networks Have No Plans To Fact-Check Candidates Live

    By Esme Cribb
    Published September 26, 2016, 9:56 AM EDT

    In advance of the first presidential debate on Monday, the head of the Commission on Presidential Debates as well as major networks would not commit to fact-checking candidates live.

    In a Sunday interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter, the commission’s executive director, Janet Brown, said that she was not in favor of fact-checking by NBC anchor Lester Holt, who will moderate the debate Monday.

    “I don’t think it’s a good idea to get the moderator into essentially serving as the Encyclopedia Brittanica,” Brown said. “I think personally if you start getting into fact-checking I’m not sure, what is a big fact, what’s a little fact, and if you and I have different sources of information, does your source about the unemployment rate agree with my source?”

    While the commission lets moderators decide how to respond, Brown added, she recommended that they “facilitate” fact-checking between candidates rather than take an active role in doing it themselves.

    Major networks were also unwilling to commit to the chyron fact-checks they’ve taken to using to correct candidates in real time, according to a Monday report from Politico.

    Univision and Telemundo told Politico that they were not planning to fact-check candidates on screen, citing the rapid-fire editorial and technical response required.

    NBC did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

    “In a Sunday interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter, the commission’s executive director, Janet Brown, said that she was not in favor of fact-checking by NBC anchor Lester Holt, who will moderate the debate Monday.

    Yes, not only are most of the networks avoiding live fact-checking – because that’s apparently not something news networks are good at – but the executive director of the Commissions on Presidential Debates doesn’t want the moderator to do any fact-checking either. The Powers that Be clearly hate the world today. And the future. That’s too bad but it is what it is. Get ready America! *wince*

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 26, 2016, 3:08 pm
  13. Given the ongoing debate in the US how the nation found itself in a Trumpian existential crisis – which is much like the standard existential crisis the US faces every presidential election from the very real possibility of election a Republican president, but more orange and somehow more absurd than normal election year – and given how many of those questions relate to the role the US media has played, or not played, in fueling the rise of Trump, here’s an article that’s worth noting in that debate: American journalism, as a profession, is still collapsing, and with the plateauing of online journalism job growth now underway and no longer able to offset the collapse in print journalism, the collapse of US journalism appears to be accelerating:

    Columbia Journalism Review

    Employment picture darkens for journalists at digital outlets

    By Alex T. Williams
    September 27, 2016

    It probably comes as no surprise that jobs for journalists at newspapers continue to disappear. But in a disturbing development, digital news jobs that had been replacing some of the legacy positions appear to have hit a plateau.

    Earlier this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a chart showing the total number of employees working in the newspaper industry is now lower than those working in the “internet publishing and broadcasting” sector. Given the struggles of the newspaper industry, and the increasing popularity of “digital native” news publishers, such figures may seem intuitive. Yet it only captures how many employees work in these industries—not how many journalists.

    With digital native websites becoming more prominent, it is worth exploring how many journalists work in this sector and whether its growth is likely to offset losses in the newspaper industry. Because the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) recently announced it will no longer estimate the size of the newspaper workforce, and no organization surveys digital outlets to measure the size of its workforce, I sought out a new data source to explore these figures.

    Based on my analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, the number of journalists at digital native publishers has more than tripled in the past decade. This growth, however, pales in comparison to the number of journalists laid off in the newspaper industry. And in recent years, the number of journalists at digital-only publishers seems to have actually plateaued. With fewer journalists working today, reporters are becoming increasingly concentrated in coastal cities, investigative journalism and local statehouse reporting is declining, and the ratio of journalists to public relations specialists is widening.

    Previously, the Pew Research Center’s census of editorial staff at digital native news publishers estimated there were about 5,000 full-time staff members in 2014. This in-depth analysis provides important insight, but it is unable to speak to longitudinal trends.

    According to OES data, the number of journalists in the newspaper industry declined sharply in the past decade. Consider that in 2005, there were 66,490 newspaper reporters or editors. In 2015, there were 41,400, a decline of 25,090 journalists, or 38 percent. During the same time period, the number of journalists at digital-only publishers more than tripled, growing from 3,410 to 10,580.

    Put another way, in 2005, for every one digital-only journalist, there were 20 newspaper journalists. But due to steep job losses at newspapers and substantial growth at digital native publishers, that ratio changed significantly. In 2015, for every one digital-only journalist, there were four newspaper journalists.

    Pew’s 2014 census noted a majority of employees at digital-only publishers worked for 30 organizations, many of which had grown considerably in the past few years. This suggested that staff at digital-only publishers was growing quickly. Given the financial struggles of the news industry, this was seen as an important and positive development. But is that growth continuing?

    According to OES data, the number of journalists at digital-only publishers grew each year from 2010 to 2013. Since then, however, the estimated number of journalists has plateaued, ranging from 10,240 to 10,580 in the past three years. These figures complement recent indicators suggesting the economic model for digital-native publishers may be in flux. In 2015, BuzzFeed projected $250 million in revenue but generated less than $170 million. Venture funding for media startups is the lowest since mid-2013. This year, layoffs have been reported at Mashable, Vice News, and International Business Times.

    These patterns, even if inexact, suggest important trends. According to OES estimates, since 2005, newspapers laid-off approximately 25,000 journalists, and digital native publishers hired about 7,000 journalists. While the growth of digital-only publishers has created jobs for thousands of journalists, it has not offset steep job losses at newspapers.

    Indeed, the combined number of journalists at newspapers or digital-only publishers has declined sharply in the past decade. In 2005, there were 69,900 journalists employed in these two industries. In 2015, there were 51,980, a decline of 26 percent. As a result, Americans have fewer journalists to provide news information.

    This loss is important for four key reasons:

    1. Job losses in journalism have not been evenly distributed. Between 2004 and 2014, the number of news reporters in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles actually grew, while it stayed about the same in New York City. Relatedly, most digital news outlets are located in these major markets. As a result, citizens outside of these areas likely have fewer reporters acting as local watchdogs and the media system is becoming increasingly concentrated in coastal cities.
    2. With fewer journalists, but financial pressure to adapt to low advertising rates, papers and digital outlets are incentivized to focus on shorter articles that cost less time and money to produce. Reporters feel pressure to write stories that get more clicks—and outlets like the Oregonian and the now-defunct Gawker considered using metrics to help determine how much reporters should be paid.

    In this economic environment, greenlighting time-consuming, in-depth reports that may get less traffic than lighter-fare articles has become increasingly rare. A recent report by Mother Jones in which a senior reporter worked four months as a corrections officer exemplifies this tension. The massive 35,000-word report exposed corruption in private prisons but conservatively cost $350,000 to produce and only brought in $5,000 in banner ads.
    3. Coverage of local politics is likely worsening. According to the Pew Research Center, between 2003 and 2014, the number of full-time newspaper statehouse reporters declined by 35 percent. Several experts quoted in the report believe the quality of reporting is deteriorating.

    Gene Rose, former communications director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, argued that “I think you’re seeing fewer stories…The public is not being kept aware of important policy decisions that are being made that will affect their daily lives.” Likewise, Bobby Harrison, the capitol bureau chief for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, stated that “As far as analysis and in-depth reporting, I think there’s definitely less than there was 10 years ago.”
    4. As Robert McChesney and John Nichols have noted, cuts in journalism are alarming because when “editorial staffs shrink, there is less ability for news media to interrogate and counter the claims in press releases.” In other words, we have fewer reporters objectively writing about politics to counter “spin” from public relations. Indeed, in 2004, the ratio of journalists to public relations specialists was one to three. In 2014, for every journalist, there were about five public relations specialists.

    Last year, a report from the Center for Public Integrity illustrated how intertwined public relations and public policy are with one another. In 2012, for example, the American Petroleum Institute paid $51.9 million to the public relations firm Edelman.

    Trade associations hire PR firms to craft messages when they are facing public scrutiny and regulations: like whether fracking should be allowed in a state. As reporters try to investigate and explain the merits of these proposals for citizens, journalists are being outnumbered and outspent by the public relations industry. Adding salt to the wound, the pay gap between journalists and public relations specialists is widening, forcing many journalists to consider changing careers.

    While the number of outlets and the volume of content continues to expand, today we have fewer journalists, less investigative or statehouse reporting, and the journalists left standing are becoming increasingly concentrated in coastal cities. The situation would certainly be more dire without digital news outlets like Vox Media, Vice Media, and BuzzFeed—but it seems unlikely that such sites will offset jobs and news coverage lost in the newspaper industry.

    “Based on my analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, the number of journalists at digital native publishers has more than tripled in the past decade. This growth, however, pales in comparison to the number of journalists laid off in the newspaper industry. And in recent years, the number of journalists at digital-only publishers seems to have actually plateaued. With fewer journalists working today, reporters are becoming increasingly concentrated in coastal cities, investigative journalism and local statehouse reporting is declining, and the ratio of journalists to public relations specialists is widening.

    Yes, journalism is dying and getting replaced by public relations specialists. Oh, and don’t forget that being a journalist is considered one of the worst jobs in America and has been for years.

    So might this all have something to do with the rise of Trump or are Trump’s surge and the collapse of journalism as a viable profession both symptoms of some underlying collective dysfunction that was going to happen with or without the decline of journalism? It’s one of those ‘chicken and egg’ situations: If the public actually valued valuable journalism, journalism presumably wouldn’t have declined and we could have had a media environment that actual cultivates in its audience a desire for quality analysis and the kind of meaningful discourse that actually leads to solutions and improves lives in a way that prevents the rise of someone like Trump. But the decline in the public’s appetite for quality journalism didn’t happen in a vacuum. Fox News, right-wing talk radio, and the general the right-wing/pro-corporate junk media reality-bubble media has been gathering steam for decades too. It’s as if we collectively slit our intellectual wrists, just to get a taste, and then decided it tasted really good and asked for more. You do that long enough and you’re inevitably going to get so lightheaded that electing Orange Hitler suddenly doesn’t seem like an existential crisis. It’s kind of hard to sustain high-quality journalism in that kind of environment.

    But regardless of the role the decline of the journalism industry has played in the rise of Trump, it’s pretty clear that the decline of the industry and the decline of America’s political culture and general knowledge base isn’t stopping any time soon, President Trump or not. Considering the incredible messes these twin dynamics inevitably create for a nation at least there’s inevitably going to be lots of really important stories that need covering. So at least the abundance of disasters that could have been avoided with a well-informed public that but aren’t avoided should hopefully turn things around for the industry. Disasters, even avoidable disasters like a Trump presidency, are generally good news for the news industry. Of course, if that’s how things worked we would already be in the middle of journalistic golden age. So, yeah, maybe that’s not going to happen.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 28, 2016, 6:57 pm
  14. Given the rise of Trumpian politicians around the globe, here’s a look at how the Phillipines is dealing with its own Trump: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a politician often seen as the Donald Trump of the Philippines, just likened himself to Hitler and said he would be happy to slaughter the country’s 3 million drug users:

    Associated Press

    Duterte ‘Happy to Slaughter’ Drug Suspects; Mentions Hitler

    By jim gomez, associated press

    MANILA, Philippines — Sep 30, 2016, 3:34 PM ET

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte raised the rhetoric over his bloody anti-crime war to a new level Friday, comparing it to Hitler and the Holocaust and saying he would be “happy to slaughter” 3 million addicts.

    Duterte issued his latest threat against drug dealers and users early Friday on returning to his hometown in southern Davao city after visiting Vietnam, where he discussed his anti-drug campaign with Vietnamese leaders and ways for their governments to fight transnational crimes, including illegal drugs.

    Duterte has said his public death threats against drug suspects are designed to scare them to stop selling drugs and to discourage would-be users. But his latest remarks took that crime-busting approach to a different level.

    He said he had been “portrayed or pictured to be a cousin of Hitler,” without elaborating.

    Moments later he said, “Hitler massacred 3 million Jews … there’s 3 million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

    He was referring to a Philippine government estimate of the number of drug addicts in the country. Historians say 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis under Hitler before and during World War II.

    During the presidential election campaign earlier this year and during the three months he has held office, the tough-talking Duterte has threatened to drown drug suspects to fatten the fish in Manila Bay. He also threatened to execute drug traffickers by hanging — because he didn’t want to waste electricity on them — until their heads were severed from their bodies.

    While Hitler’s victims were innocent people, Duterte said his targets are “all criminals” and that getting rid of them would “finish the (drug) problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.”

    Germany’s government slammed Duterte’s comments as unacceptable, and called in the Philippine ambassador to the Foreign Ministry over the matter.

    “It is impossible to make any comparison to the unique atrocities of the Shoah and Holocaust,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer in Berlin.

    World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder said Duterte’s remarks were “revolting” and demanded that he retract them and apologize.

    “Drug abuse is a serious issue. But what President Duterte said is not only profoundly inhumane, but it demonstrates an appalling disrespect for human life that is truly heartbreaking for the democratically elected leader of a great country,” Lauder said in a statement issued from Jerusalem, where he was attending the funeral of former Israeli leader Shimon Peres.

    The U.S. State Department, which is looking to sustain its longstanding alliance with the Philippines, called the comments “troubling.”

    “Words matter, especially when they are from leaders of sovereign nations, especially sovereign nations with whom we have long and valued relations with,” spokesman Mark Toner told reporters. He repeated U.S. calls for Philippine authorities to investigate any credible reports of extra-judicial killings.

    U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was more forthright.

    “It is reprehensible and frankly disgusting that a democratically-elected leader is talking about the mass murder of his own people, with Hitler’s Holocaust as his inspiration no less,” he said in a statement.

    Philippine Rep. Teodoro Baguilat wondered if the president was suggesting that “it’s open season now for all addicts, no more rehabilitation, just kill them systematically like what the Nazis did with the Jews.” He expressed fears that Jewish businesspeople might boycott the Philippines.

    Also critical was Phil Robertson, Asia deputy director for Human Rights Watch, who said it was baffling why anyone would want to compare themselves to “one of the largest mass murderers in human history.”

    Robertson said that in today’s context, Hitler would be accused of crimes against humanity.

    “Is that what Duterte wants? Does he want to be sent to the international criminal court? Because he’s working his way there,” Robertson said.

    Amnesty International said Duterte “has sunk to new depths” and urged governments around the world to condemn his “extremely dangerous outburst.”

    A spokesman for Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem-based world center for Holocaust research and commemoration, declined to comment on Duterte’s remarks.

    Duterte’s campaign promise to end corruption and crime, especially illegal drugs, within six months of taking office on June 30 carried him to an overwhelming victory in May’s presidential election.

    Since the vote, more than 3,000 suspected drug dealers and users have been killed and nearly 700,000 others have surrendered in his crackdown. Duterte has asked for a six-month extension to finish the job.

    His supporters and many Filipinos exasperated with widespread crime have welcomed his tough approach, but a growing number of critics, including U.N. officials, the European Union and the United States, have voiced concerns over the widespread killings and human rights violations.

    “Hitler massacred 3 million Jews … there’s 3 million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

    Ok, so the Philippines’ new president is basically the Hitler for drug users. And he’s overwhelmingly popular. Although, given the parallels between Duterte’s declaration of open season on drug users and the violent drug crackdown that took place last decade in Thailand, it’s worth keeping in mind that Duterte actually declared open season on drug users and basically anyone else since that the nature of the extrajudicial killings he’s unleashed…except for actual drug lords who will be fine:

    The Conversation

    Duterte’s war on drugs: bitter lessons from Thailand’s failed campaign

    September 29, 2016 2.35am EDT

    Janjira Sombatpoonsiri
    Assistant Professor, Thammasat University

    Aries Arugay
    Associate Professor of Political Science, University of the Philippines

    The body count from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs” is growing by the day. While he’s not the first national leader to condone violence and extrajudicial killings in the name of controlling illicit drug use, Duterte would be wise to learn from Southeast Asian history on what works, and what doesn’t.

    Duterte’s policy has already resulted in more than 3,000 casualties, leading to broad international condemnation.

    The deaths have resulted in either police operations where suspects have resisted arrest or summary executions by unknown perpetrators. Drug pushers and users are voluntarily surrendering to the police in huge numbers, exacting a toll in the country’s already overcrowded jail system. Nor are there enough drug rehabilitation centres to absorb many of them.

    Other countries have adopted similar policies in the past – only to see them fail.

    Colombia’s drug war resulted in the deaths of powerful members of drug cartels, for instance, but also in skyrocketing levels of violence, marginalisation, and human rights violations.

    Thailand’s drug war

    The most salutary tale for Duterte comes from Thailand. The drug war waged in the early 2000s by former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra could hold important lessons for the Filipino government about the unforeseen political consequences of condoning violence in the name of controlling crime.

    Launched in 2003, Thaksin’s war on drugs bears significant similarities to what’s happening in the Philippines. Like Duterte, Shinawatra was very popular, managing to lead a one-party administration in a country used to government by coalition. This strong electoral mandate allowed him to take on his country’s gargantuan and systemic drug problem.

    As one of the world’s major transit points for narcotics, drug-use had been common in Thailand since the 1950s. But in the 1990s, the use of methamphetamines (known in Thai as ya ba) started to cause concern among Thai political elites.

    Most methamphetamines were produced on the Thailand-Myanmar border by ethnic Burmese rebels, who used sales to finance their armed struggle. But the drug was largely consumed by the rural working class Thais, due to its affordable price.

    When the media began reporting rising methamphetamine use among young people, key political figures, particularly King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his privy council, expressed grave concern.

    A former police lieutenant colonel himself, Thaksin declared an all-out war against ya ba. Drug dealers were labelled enemies of the state, and after three months and 2,500 deaths, the prime minister proclaimed victory.

    Thailand’s war on drugs was carried out through collaboration between local governors and police officers. Government officials compiled “blacklists” which led to arrests and, in many cases, extrajudicial killings. As the bodies piled up, the police claimed that most deaths resulted from rival drug cartels killing each other to avoid betrayal by their accomplices.

    The pressure on the police to measure their success was paramount, and it was defined by the body count. This metric reinforced the existing hierarchy, already prone to abuse, corruption and even complicity in the drug trade.

    Police targets normally consisted of the “small fish” within the drug network (low-level dealers, for instance, and hill tribe villagers). Rarely did the lists contain drug lords themselves but every death in the war counted as a step toward success.

    According to an official investigation launched after the 2006 military coup that wrenched power from Thaksin, 1,400 people out of the 2,500 killed as part of the war on drugs had nothing to do with drugs. And profitable drug routes from Myanmar reportedly remained intact, protected by the Myanmar and Thai government bureaucracy and business elites.

    Despite the violent and bloody crackdown, the Thai population largely endorsed Thaksin’s war. Prior to his downfall in 2006, the prime minister was admired by both his supporters and critics for his business-oriented efficiency, policy decisiveness and resilience in the face of harsh criticism.

    The former prime minister successfully controlled the discourse of the war, even in the face of reports of human rights violations. He claimed the drug war was necessary, and that Thais should turn a blind eye to the inevitable “collateral damage” of his campaign. Public opinion supported the campaign; some surveys showed support of 97.4%.

    Lessons for Duterte

    Thailand’s experience shows that the real culprits at the top of the drug pyramid often escape extralegal approaches to eradicating drug problems with impunity. After thousands of deaths, Colombia and Mexico discovered the same truth decades ago.

    Networks of illegal drug supply go beyond any one country’s sovereign borders. The Philippines is a producer, a transit point, and a consumer of narcotics. Each role requires specific policies that involve the entire state apparatus, as well as civil society.

    The drug trade is a transnational threat; this means neighbouring states have to work together to fight. In this sense, Duterte’s plea for regional cooperation on illegal drugs is a step in the right direction and should be supported by other ASEAN countries.

    “According to an official investigation launched after the 2006 military coup that wrenched power from Thaksin, 1,400 people out of the 2,500 killed as part of the war on drugs had nothing to do with drugs. And profitable drug routes from Myanmar reportedly remained intact, protected by the Myanmar and Thai government bureaucracy and business elites.

    Yes, over half of Thailand’s war on drugs deaths had nothing to do with drugs and the drug lords were largely fine, which is probably what we should expect for the Hitler of the Philippines’ extrajudicial mass murder program. Will the public care? It’s hard to see why. After all, given the incredibly vile and almost casual dehumanization of illegal drug users already embraced by the populace, why would they care about the killing of additional innocent people? Don’t forget that Duterte joking lamented about not getting invited to a gang rape in his home town as he was campaign for President and won! The Philippines is clearly in the thrall of some sort of blood lust and addicted to violence and murder as a means of ‘solution’ for dealing with its illegal drug using population (as opposed to, you know, humanizing them and maybe recognizing it as a public health issue). One might even say the Filippino society today, like so many other societies, is addicted to violence and murder as the problem-solving solution of choice. Except unlike a drug addict who at least knows what they’re addicted to, when a society gets addicted to violence and mass murder it’s generally not aware of it and unwilling to do anything about it. Yikes. That’s one scary addiction/public health issue.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 30, 2016, 2:54 pm
  15. The parallels grew today between Donald Trump and the ‘Trump of the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte. So here’s a pair of stories that, while not directly related, both follow a theme which is, of course, a disturbing theme:
    First, video of a testimony Donald Trump made for his lawsuit against a celebrity chef who withdrew from a planned restaurant at one of Trump’s new hotels in the wake of Trump’s characterization of Mexican undocumented immigrants as including a large number of rapists during the opening speech of his presidential campaign.

    As one might expect, the question of whether or not Trump had actually thought about the kind of damage his ‘Mexican rapist’ comments might do to the planned business was brought up in the testimony. So did Trump plan on calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” before he gave his speech? According to the video, yes. And did Trump think his comments might actually hurt his planned business? No, he did not think about how his comments might affect business deals. Beyond that, he didn’t actually think they were offensive at all, citing the fact that he won the GOP primary as evidence. He also felt the media was actually distorting his statement. And since Trump is confident that most people agreed with his comments, he felt that, if anything, his ‘Mexican rapist ‘comments should help the restaurant, although he conceded that he didn’t really know if those comments would be negatively received by Hispanics (or anyone who doesn’t like to hear hate speech from putative presidents).

    So the guy who could easily become the next President of the United States didn’t really think that strongly suggesting a large number of Mexican undocumented immigrants are rapists in his opening campaign speech might be negatively received, even by Hispanics, and to this day still doesn’t feel it’s been negatively received. If anything, they’ve helped the Trump ‘brand’. Also, the media has totally distorted what he said so any negative sentiments generated his comments (which have become an overarching campaign theme at this point) are basically unfair.

    So it doesn’t sound like Donald Trump doesn’t plan on saying the deplorable things he says. He plans on it. It’s just that those plans don’t include the possibility that everyone won’t love what he says. It’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning on going into business with Donald Trump, especially now that he’s a high profile celebrity businessman. It’s also, of course, something to keep in mind if you’re planning on voting for him:

    USA Today

    Video: Trump planned to describe some Mexican migrants ‘rapists’

    David Jackson, 4:34 p.m. EDT September 30, 2016

    Donald Trump testified in a lawsuit this year that he planned to describe some Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists during the 2015 announcement of his presidential campaign.

    “Yes,” a low-key Trump said during the June deposition when asked if he planned his remarks about Mexicans, one of several one-word answers he gave to questions about his announcement speech of a year before. Asked if he wrote out the speech beforehand, Trump said “no.”

    The New York businessman also testified that he was referring to “illegal immigrants,” and he did not think about how his comments might affect business deals.

    Video of a June 16 deposition surfaced pursuant to the order of a Washington judge hearing a lawsuit that the Republican presidential nominee filed after a chef withdrew plans for a restaurant at a new Trump hotel in light of his comments about Mexicans.

    Trump’s lawyers tried to keep the deposition video under seal over concerns that political opponents would use it in campaign ads.

    During his June 2015 announcement speech, Trump said:

    “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

    In denying his comments were offensive, Trump cited his success in the Republican primaries.

    “I’m running for office. I obviously have credibility because I now, as it turns out, became the Republican nominee running against, we have a total of 17 people that were mostly senators and governors, highly respected people,” Trump said during the deposition.

    Trump also claimed the media distorted his remarks: “I think the media is very dishonest. But all I’m doing is bringing up a situation which is very real, about illegal immigration. And I think, you know, most people think I’m right.”

    That kind of popularity would help a restaurant succeed, Trump testified — though his comments may dissuade Hispanics from patronizing his establishments.

    “It is always possible,” Trump said. “I just don’t know. I mean, I don’t know how to answer that question. It’s possible.”

    “It is always possible…I just don’t know. I mean, I don’t know how to answer that question. It’s possible.”

    Yes, it’s possible that his comments that strongly associated Latinos with rape could have dissuaded Hispanics from patronizing Trump establishments. It’s possible but he’s not really sure. He just doesn’t know how to even begin thinking about it. But if you’re in business with him and distance yourself after he makes those comments he’ll sue you. Still, he’s pretty what he said was actually helpful and well received. It’s bold leadership, folks! If you can’t see that it’s the media’s fault.

    So that was the Trump-end of our pair of parallel stories. Now let’s take a look at the latest spin from Rodrigo Duterte’s administration over what exactly he meant when he compared himself to Hitler and said would be glad to “slaughter” 3 million drug users as part of some sort national purification scheme to “save the next generation from perdition”. Well, according to Duterte’s spokesperson, Durterte was actually rejecting the Hitler label that critiques were already using. Also, he still totally supports his mass murder program, including the extrajudicial killings but plans to kill three million illegal drug users (alcohol apparently doesn’t lead to perdition) is not at all comparable to the slaughter of millions of Jews because the Holocaust was intended to kill off the Jews while killing millions of drug users is actually intended to save the next generation from going to hell. See, it’s not like the Holocaust…even though he made that direct comparison which is what triggered the latest outcry in the first place. It’s the opposite!

    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    Palace: Duterte rejects comparisons with Hitler

    By: Gil C. Cabacungan
    11:57 AM October 1st, 2016

    Malacañang has broken its silence on the firestorm created by President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks comparing himself to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and that he would “be happy” exterminate 3 million drug addicts like the demagogue’s extermination of Jews.

    In a brief radio briefing Saturday morning, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella clarified the President did not in any way praise Hitler as a role model in his remarks that he said were “oblique” or skewed explanations of what he meant.

    “The Philippines recognizes the deep significance of the Jewish experience especially their tragic and painful history. We do not wish to diminish the profound loss of 6 million Jews in the holocaust that deep midnight of their story as a people,” said Abella who did not entertain any question during the interview over state-owned DZRB radio.

    “The President’s reference to the slaughter was an oblique deflection of the way he has been pictured as a mass murderer, a Hitler, which is a label that he rejects,” said Abella.

    Abella, however, stood by the President’s statement that the unresolved killings of drug suspects by police and vigilantes would have a positive effect on the country.

    “He likewise draws an oblique conclusion that while the holocaust was an attempt to exterminate the future generation of Jews, the so-called extrajudicial killings, roundly attributed to him, will nevertheless result in the salvation of the next generation of Filipinos,” said Abella.

    ““He likewise draws an oblique conclusion that while the holocaust was an attempt to exterminate the future generation of Jews, the so-called extrajudicial killings, roundly attributed to him, will nevertheless result in the salvation of the next generation of Filipinos,” said Abella.”

    Yes, in Duterte’s mind, the justifications for the Holocaust apparently didn’t include killing intense propaganda about how the Jews threatened future generations. And when he compared himself to Hitler and justified his mass murder campaign as some sort of salvation for the nation he was actually drawing a direct contrast the Holocaust. Sure, that’s super believable.

    So that a glimpse at “oops, I didn’t mean to say that horrible thing (or implement that horrible policy)) that’s not actually horrible and totally misunderstood” trend in global leadership. While Duterte is obviously much more horrible than Trump at this point since he’s actually in power already and actually administering a mass murder campaign, it’s still hard to ignore the parallels

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 1, 2016, 4:27 pm
  16. Guess which presidential candidate has a history of dropping hints that they are a closet eugenicist. Just take one tiny little guess. Better yet, take a YUUGE guess:

    The Independent

    Donald Trump believes he has superior genes, biographer claims

    Republican nominee follows ‘racehorse theory’ of genetics

    Caroline Mortimer
    Friday 30 September 2016

    Donald Trump has been accused of believing in the “racehorse theory” of genetics, which claims some people are genetically superior to others.

    In an interview for US TV channel PBS, the Republican presidential nominee’s biographer Michael D’Antonio claimed the candidate’s father, Fred Trump, had taught him that the family’s success was genetic.

    He said: “The family subscribes to a racehorse theory of human development.

    “They believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring.”

    The theory, known as eugenics, first emerged during the 19th century and was used as a pretext for the sterilisation of disabled people until the practice was discredited after the Second World War.

    Adolf Hitler’s justification for the Holocaust – in which 11 million people were killed, 6 million of them Jewish – was based on a similar theory of racial hierarchy.

    The PBS documentary featured clips of Mr Trump on the campaign trial claiming that he “believes in the gene thing” and saying he had a “very high aptitude”.

    It also ran footage of previous interviews from the real estate magnate’s time as a reality TV star in which he shared his thoughts on the subject, including a 2010 interview with CNN..

    He said: “Well I think I was born with the drive for success because I have a certain gene.

    “I’m a gene believer… Hey, when you connect two race horses, you usually end up with a fast horse.

    “I had a good gene pool from the standpoint of that, so I was pretty much driven.”

    Mr Trump has become notorious for his bravado on the campaign trail and claimed he could solve problems that have plagued policymakers for decades with ease because he is a “smart guy”.

    At a rally in Washington, D.C. in September 2015, Mr Trump claimed that, if he became president, “we’ll win so much, you’ll get bored with winning”.

    “At a rally in Washington, D.C. in September 2015, Mr Trump claimed that, if he became president, “we’ll win so much, you’ll get bored with winning”.”

    Yes, if Donald Trump, a self-declared genius, becomes president there will indeed be an abundance of winning. Sure, it will be the oligarchs (you know, fellow ‘winners’ like Trump) who will be doing the actual winning. And, of course, open eugenicists. There’s going to be no shortage of winning for them.

    But that doesn’t mean the nation as a whole won’t be winning too. It might not be the kind of prize any society actually wants to win, but if the US actually elects this barely-crypto-Nazi to the highest office of the land there will be winning for America.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 4, 2016, 2:47 pm
  17. The Trump campaign was denied its request to use the use International Civil Rights Museum as a campaign photo-op that would have shut the museum down for half a day. Big surprise that the folks behind the International Civil Rights museum wouldn’t be super psyched to have the Alt Right’s champion use the museum as some sort of minority outreach prop, right? Well, there are a number of Trump supporters who, if not surprised, were pretty enraged by it. Or maybe they just hated the museum and wanted an excuse to threaten to shoot it up and burn it down. Either way, a bunch of Trump supporters are now threatening to shoot up and burn down the International Civil Rights Museum:

    The News & Observer

    Trump denied use of NC civil rights museum

    By Rachel Chason
    October 4, 2016 4:38 PM

    The International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro denied Donald Trump’s request to hold an event at the museum two weeks ago – and has faced retaliation from his supporters because of it, according to the museum’s CEO.

    John Swaine said the Trump campaign was trying to plan the Republican nominee’s visit to the historic museum Sept. 20, the same day he campaigned in High Point and Kenansville. Swaine said that campaign staff asked to videotape Trump walking around the museum and requested that the museum shut down for five hours to accommodate his visit.

    “We made it known to Mr. Trump’s campaign that we were not going to grant a request of suspending our operations so he could somehow try to legitimize his ideological positions,” Swaine told The News & Observer. “The landmark is very important – it’s not just a political backdrop.”

    The museum is in the former F.W. Woolworth building, the site of the 1960 lunch counter sit-in protest against segregated eating establishments. The facility seeks to commemorate the historic sit-in and to promote equality today.

    Swaine said museum staff who spoke to a representative from Trump’s team said he did not request a tour of the museum and seemed instead to want only a photo-op for the nominee. Swaine said that months are spent training the museum’s tour guides, and that the museum does not allow “un-vetted” presenters to act as guides.

    He said that since news of the museum’s decision broke last week, museum staff members have received threats via phone calls and social media.

    “The callers were threatening to come over and burn down the building and to shoot up the building,” he said. “They’ve lessened in frequency this week, but they’re still coming in.”

    Swaine said callers have used foul language and racial epithets, and he said museum employees are now recording the calls. But he also noted that he is appreciative of support that has come via social media and in calls from across the nation.

    Kirk Bell, the communications director for Trump’s North Carolina campaign, wrote in an email that the campaign “is not commenting on this matter.”

    Swaine said that as a private nonprofit organization, the museum has a First Amendment right to control its public messages, adding that a church would not be “expected to make its pulpit available to someone advocating against religious belief.”

    The museum does allow high-profile citizens to take private tours, Swaine said, and would have done so for Trump had he asked. Swaine said that he has been contacted by a member of Hillary Clinton’s campaign about a possible visit and added that the former secretary of state would also be welcome to take a private tour.

    U.S. Rep. G.K Butterfield, who represents Durham and large portions of northeastern North Carolina, said Trump would “learn so much from touring museums that contain African-American history and culture.”

    “Instead of proposing constructive and legitimate solutions that bring people together, Donald Trump has made the heart of his campaign about tearing good people apart,” said Butterfield, a Democrat. “Our country is better than that, and North Carolina is better than that.”

    Speaking in High Point, Trump said he would create a new civil rights agenda and fight for safety in inner cities.

    “What do you have to lose,” Trump asked, addressing African-American voters who he said have been failed by Democratic policies.

    In Kenansville later that day, Trump said: “We’re going to rebuild our inner cities, because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever.”

    Butterfield noted in a statement after the speech that Trump apparently “missed that whole civics lesson about slavery and Jim Crow.”

    ““The callers were threatening to come over and burn down the building and to shoot up the building,” he said. “They’ve lessened in frequency this week, but they’re still coming in.””

    Well, at least it sounds like the museum is recording all these threatening phone calls. It should make for a great exhibit someday.

    And in other Trumpian civil rights news…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 5, 2016, 6:15 pm
  18. With the Trump campaign in a new phase of its seemingly endless meltdown that started after the first Presidential debate and never seemed to stop, a mass GOP defection phase, one of the questions we unfortunately need to ask ourselves is what kind of impact a month-long Trump implosion that might have on the psyche of his most fervent supports. Supporters who have fully accepted the notion that the only way Trump could lose the election is through some sort of rigging and fraud. The best case scenario would be some sort of actual soul searching and reflection and abundant asking of questions like “how did we become so deluded?”

    That’s the best case scenario. And then there are the other scenarios:

    Raw Story

    WATCH: Woman at Pence rally calls for ‘revolution’ if Hillary is elected

    Erin Corbett
    11 Oct 2016 at 18:23 ET

    During a Mike Pence rally in Newton, Iowa on Tuesday, one voter was up in arms over Hillary Clinton and the electoral process.

    Citing Trump hysteria that the elections are going to be rigged and that there is a serious chance of voter fraud at the polls, the voter named Rhonda, who introduced herself as being “on social media all day, everyday nonstop since last June” called for a revolution if Hillary won the election.

    Rhonda told Pence, “One of the biggest things I can tell you that a lot of us are scared of is this voter fraud. There’s a lot of us saying that when we go to vote, we’re gonna wear red. Our lives depend on this election, our kids futures depend on this election.” The room gently applauds.

    She continues, “And I will tell you, just for me, I don’t want this to happen but I will tell you for me, personally, if Hillary Clinton gets in, I myself, I’m ready for a revolution.” Pence quickly responds, “No, no don’t say that.”

    Pence’s establishment politics are showing, and they are the exact opposite of the Trump campaign’s message. Over the last year, Trump has recklessly circulated the idea that this election is surely rigged and that he alone can save the American people.

    The media is not on his side, the Clinton campaign is fighting him with insults, and the polls absolutely need to be monitored for voter fraud, according to Trump.

    If Trump goes down in November, he’s taking Clinton, the Republican party, and the electoral process with him. On Tuesday, the GOP nominee went after House Speaker Paul Ryan on Twitter calling him “weak and ineffective,” and slamming members of the Republican party who have dropped their support for him as “disloyal.”

    He then tweeted how he was finally free of his “shackles” and said he was going to “fight for America the way I want to.” If that’s the case, then what has he been doing the rest of this election?

    One thing is for sure, if Trump is going to burn the GOP to the ground, then it’s Pence’s job to silence the revolution.

    “If Trump goes down in November, he’s taking Clinton, the Republican party, and the electoral process with him. On Tuesday, the GOP nominee went after House Speaker Paul Ryan on Twitter calling him “weak and ineffective,” and slamming members of the Republican party who have dropped their support for him as “disloyal.”

    It sure looks like Trump is aiming for a worst case scenario response on the part of his supporters if Trump experiences what, to him, is the worst thing possible for a winner like Donald Trump: losing and losing big. If that happens, goading the Trump base into burning the country down is pretty much the only ‘win’ he’ll have left and it’s pretty clear that he’s at least very tempted to go down that route if he does indeed lose. Especially since, as we saw above, he’s already trying to burn the GOP down and basically succeeding. Winning!:

    The Washington Post

    Trump declares war on GOP, says ‘the shackles have been taken off’

    By Sean Sullivan, Robert Costa and Dan Balz
    October 11 at 8:26 PM

    Donald Trump declared war on the Republican establishment Tuesday, lashing out at House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and other GOP elected officials as his supporters geared up to join the fight amid extraordinary turmoil within the party just four weeks before Election Day.

    One day after Ryan announced he would no longer campaign on Trump’s behalf, the GOP nominee said as part of a barrage of tweets that the top-ranking Republican is “weak and ineffective” and is providing “zero support” for his candidacy. Trump also declared that “the shackles have been taken off” him, liberating him to “fight for America the way I want to.”

    Trump called McCain “foul-mouthed” and accused him with no evidence of once begging for his support. The 2008 nominee pulled his endorsementpulled his endorsement following a Friday Washington Post report about a 2005 video in which Trump is heard making vulgar comments about forcing himself on women sexually.

    “I wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with a lot of these people, that I can tell you. … especially Ryan,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel. He said if he is elected president, Ryan might be “in a different position.”

    In perhaps the most piercing insult, Trump said his party is harder to deal with than even Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, whom conservatives loathe. Yet he also released a new TV ad featuring footage of Clinton coughing and stumbling during a recent bout with pneumonia — signaling that few issues are out of bounds for his scorched-earth campaign.

    “Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary,” he wrote for his more than 12 million followers on Twitter, his preferred platform for picking fights. “They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win — I will teach them!”

    By backing away from Trump, Ryan and his allies were hoping to insulate themselves and their majorities on Capitol Hill from the baggage weighing down the nominee’s flagging campaign. For many, the breaking point was the 2005 video.

    But they are suddenly dealing with another problem: an impulsive and bellicose businessman with an army of loyal supporters willing to exact retribution against elected officials they feel have abandoned them. The rift could have profound ramifications for the Republican Party as a whole, shattering any sense of unity and jeopardizing its chances of holding onto the Senate and even, potentially, the House.

    Trump’s barbs left some backers unsettled, including Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who has been a Trump booster for months and an informal adviser.

    “Dr. Carson has been unwavering in his support but the last 24 hours have made that support very difficult to maintain,” Carson adviser Armstrong Williams said in a statement.

    Carson said in a brief interview that Trump “would be wise to praise Ryan rather than be at war with him. I keep trying to emphasize to him that the issues are where you win.”

    But many others rallied around Trump, including the Republican National Committee. Its chairman, Reince Priebus, was in close touch all day with Trump advisers and RNC strategist Sean Spicer was at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

    Mica Mosbacher, a Trump fundraiser and surrogate, said she was invited to a fundraiser next week for Ryan’s joint fundraising committee but is not going to attend or contribute because of the way Ryan has treated him.

    “I don’t feel that Ryan is supporting our nominee and being a team player,” said Mosbacher, who is vowing not to give financial backing to Republicans who have crossed Trump.

    Diana Orrock, a Republican National Committeewoman from Nevada, said she is not voting for Republicans who pulled their support Trump — including Rep. Joe Heck (Nev.), who is running for a seat that is critical in the battle for the Senate majority.

    “I think they have really irritated a lot of Trump supporters,” Orrock said of Heck and Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.), who also rescinded his endorsement.

    Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump ally, said Trump should “use the enormous power of social media” to mount a pressure campaign on wavering Republicans.

    “It’s time for him to send targeted messages to each district and state and have Republican voters ask their candidates: ‘Are you going to help us defeat Hillary Clinton?’ And Trump should make it clear that the side effect of not helping Trump is electing Hillary Clinton.”

    Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson tweeted Monday that she could not keep her mobile phone charged “due to the mass volume of texts from people” who plan to vote for Trump but not for other Republicans on the ballot.

    Ryan said Monday that he would no longer defend or campaign with Trump. Dozens of other Republican elected officials have gone even further, calling on Trump to leave the race in the wake of the 2005 video.

    “Paul Ryan is focusing the next month on defeating Democrats, and all Republicans running for office should probably do the same,” Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement responding to Trump’s attacks Tuesday.

    Trump began his Twitter attacks Tuesday morning in New York before jetting off to raise money in Texas and to host an evening rally in Panama City Beach, Fla. At a San Antonio fundraising event, Trump tore into Ryan, whom he accused of “total disloyalty to the party.”

    “I think they forgot that there was an election because something happened in the last month where you didn’t see them, right?” Trump said of prominent Republicans who have not campaigned for him, according to audio of the fundraiser obtained by the Texas Tribune. “You didn’t see them. I said, ‘Why aren’t they on the shows? Why aren’t they all over the place?’?”

    Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller said the campaign was not preoccupied over whether congressional leadership is with the nominee.

    “Mr. Trump’s campaign has never been driven or fueled by Washington. It’s always been driven by the grass roots and it will continue to be,” Miller said. “What we want is everyone who wants to defeat Hillary Clinton to be on board. Anyone who’s concerned about the direction of the country.”

    A Ryan confidant said the House speaker — the highest ranking Republican in the country — is trying to strike a careful balance by turning away from Trump but not officially withdrawing his endorsement.

    “He’s threading a lot of needles here,” said the confidant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly. “He wanted to make a clean break with Trump. So saying I won’t defend him and won’t campaign with him was his way of making a break. He was so repulsed by the tape. But there are still a lot of members in the conference who don’t want to be at war with Trump’s voters in their district.”

    Speaking on his radio show Tuesday, popular conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said: “The Republican Party has sided with its donors and its lobbyists, and this is why we’re where we are. The Republican Party is in a predicament that it made itself. It made its own bed, and now they don’t want to lay in it. Now they want to run from the bed that they made.”

    A friend of Ryan, who was granted anonymity to speak freely, said the speaker didn’t rush into his Monday decision, but was deliberative and thoughtful. In the end, there was no way to make everyone happy.

    “He’s just in a hard place, and Trump is recognizing that he’s in a hard place and pushing the lever harder,” the friend said.

    ““Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary,” he wrote for his more than 12 million followers on Twitter, his preferred platform for picking fights. “They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win — I will teach them!””

    Uh oh! “Disloyal R’s” just got put on notice: support Trump or he’ll teach you lesson. A lesson about winning. And since this is Trump, it’s going to be a form of winning that probably involves destroying all those “Disloyal R’s”. The Trumpster is losing and he pissed!

    So Donald Trump has added “Disloyal R’s” to his official sh#t list. And there’s still a month left in this campaign which doesn’t even include the possible post-election period that could emerge if Trump refuses to actually concede defeat, which means that sh#t list could grow considerably. Especially if Trump declares the election rigged and invalid and the rest of the GOP doesn’t immediately get behind him and try to create some sort of constitutional crisis that makes the 2000 election look like a fond memory. Don’t forget there could be a tied Supreme Court since the GOP won’t allow Obama’s nominee to get a vote and replace Antonin Scalia. So if the GOP tries to challenge the election in a way that comes down to the Supreme Court decision, it really could be tied at 4-4. That could be quite a crisis.

    Given the growing reality that Trump is going to adopt a full scale scorched-Earth policy that characterizes not just the Democrats but ‘Establishment’ Republicans too as enemies of the American people (and that’s basically his message at this point), one of the extremely unfortunate questions we need to also ask is what exactly that kind of scenario will do to the all those Trump supporters that may not be ready to ask Mike Pence about “revolution” backup plans if Trump loses, but might be willing to considering it. A scenario where ‘Establishment’ GOPers like Paul Ryan might not have much sway with the Trumpian base. What happens to all those supporters if Trump makes a call to arms or whatever? We just might find out. And we just might find out that Trump’s white nationalist ‘Alt-right’ base have been planning on supplanting the ‘Establishment’ all along:

    The Guardian

    ‘Call me a racist, but don’t say I’m a Buddhist’: meet America’s alt right

    They present themselves as modern thinkers of extremism. But the US far right, discovers Sanjiv Bhattacharya, have the same white supremacist obsessions

    Sanjiv Bhattacharya

    Sunday 9 October 2016 04.05 EDT

    Every few weeks, William Johnson, the chairman of the white nationalist American Freedom Party (AFP), holds a lunch for members, the goal being to make America a white ethnostate, a project that begins with electing Donald Trump. This week, it’s at a grand old French restaurant called Taix, in Echo Park, Los Angeles – an odd choice on the face of it. Echo Park is a trendy hood. It’s hipster and heavily Hispanic. In fact, given the predominance of Latino kitchen staff in this city, it may be wise to hold off on the Trump talk until the food arrives.

    “About three months ago,” Johnson begins, “I was talking to Richard Spencer about how we need to plan for a Trump victory.” Spencer is another prominent white nationalist – he heads the generic-sounding National Policy Institute. “I said: ‘I want Jared Taylor [of American Renaissance] as UN Ambassador, and Kevin MacDonald [an evolutionary psychologist] as secretary of health and Ann Coulter as homeland security!’ And Spencer said: ‘Oh Johnson, that’s a pipe dream!’ But today, he’d no longer say that, because if Trump wins, all the establishment Republicans, they’re gone… They hate him! So who’s left? If we can lobby, we can put our people in there.”

    Around the table five young men, roughly half Johnson’s age (he’s 61), nod and lean in. They all wear suits and ties, address the waiter as “sir” and identify as the “alt right”, the much-discussed nouvelle vague of racism. “Are you guys familiar with the Plum Book?” Johnson asks. “It’s plum because of the colour, but also because of the plum positions – there are 20,000 jobs in that book that are open to a new administration.”

    “So we need to identify our top people!” says Eric, one of the men at the table.

    “Just anyone with a college degree!” Johnson says.

    “Right.” Eric is practically bouncing in his seat with excitement. “We need to get the word out. We are the new GOP!”

    It’s not every day that a brown journalist gets to sit in on a white-nationalist strategy meeting. But these are strange times. Racism is trending. Like Brexit, Trump has normalised views that were once beyond the pale, and groups like the AFP have grown bold. Their man’s stubby orange fingers are within reach of actual power, so maybe it’s time to emerge from the shadows at last.

    I first met Johnson in May after he signed up as a Trump delegate before being swiftly struck off by the campaign when the press found out. He’s a surprising figure. An avid environmentalist, fluent in Japanese and, in person, not the bitter old racist I’d expected but rather a jolly Mormon grandfather, bright eyed and chuckling, a Wind in the Willows character. Eric is even more unexpected. Tall and impassioned, he came to racism via hypnotherapy, of all things. He sells solar panels for a living and practises yoga. Together with his friends Matt and Nathan, who are also here at lunch, he runs an alt-right fraternity in Manhattan Beach – “a beer and barbecues thing”. They’re called the Beach Goys. “We’re starting a parody band,” he beams. “We’ve found a drummer!”

    Between them they represent two poles of a racist spectrum, young and old. And judging from this lunch, it’s the millennials who are the more extreme. Johnson wants white nationalists to appear less mean and he finds the “JQ”, the Jewish Question, archaic. But Eric loves the meanness of the alt right. “We’re the troll army!” he says. “We’re here to win. We’re savage!” And antisemitism is non-negotiable. In fact, he’d like to clear up a misnomer about the alt right, propagated by the Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos, who is often described, mistakenly, as the movement’s leader. Milo casts the alt right as principally a trolling enterprise, dedicated to attacking liberal shibboleths for the “lulz”– there’s precious little actual bigotry. But Eric insists otherwise. Yes, they like to joke, they have memes, they’re just as funny as liberals – have I heard of their satirical news podcasts, the Daily Shoah and Fash the Nation? But make no mistake, the racism is real. Eric especially enjoys The Daily Stormer, a leading alt-right news site, which is unashamedly pro-Hitler.

    What unites Johnson and Eric is what they describe as “the systematic browbeating of the white male” – namely all this talk of privilege, the Confederate flag, Black Lives Matter and mansplaining. But beyond that, it’s the “looming extinction of the white race”. This is the language they use. Also: “Diversity equals white genocide.” The alt right loves to evoke genocide while harbouring Holocaust deniers. Their point is that white people are melting away like the icecaps, and they have a primal drive to stop it. In 2044, non-Hispanic whites will drop below 50% of the US population. “The generation of the white minority has already been born,” Eric says. “Look at South Africa and Rhodesia. That’s where we’re headed. Total disenfranchisement.”

    Today, Eric still meditates and practises yoga. His weeks are spent like David Brent, as a travelling salesman, driving around meeting his solar energy clients. His weekends, however, are all about the Beach Goys, which now has 15 members. Last week, they went on a hike to the Murphy Ranch in the Pacific Palisades, a decrepit old property that was originally built as a refuge for Hitler after the war. Next week is their first band rehearsal. Eric’s going to play guitar and sing. And this is the future he wants – not a plum job with the Trump administration. “I don’t see myself as a bureaucrat,” he says. “I want to take the Beach Goys national. I want to inspire people.”

    It could happen. Trump has unleashed something in America. Johnson won’t reveal the AFP’s membership numbers – “Maybe we want to appear bigger than we are?” – but Eric insists the alt right is on the march. “We’re growing with every hashtag, every BLM protest, every city that becomes a Detroit, or a London,” he says. “We’re everywhere! We’re the guy next to you at yoga, the barista at Starbucks…” It’s like Fight Club for supremacists, a deeply unsettling thought (which is why Eric loves it).

    But his delight in being a secret Nazi detracts from the seriousness of it all, the white genocide stuff. He’s having too much fun. And I wonder, as we finish our beers, if it will pass for Eric, this Nazi phase. He just doesn’t seem that threatening. Then he starts up about a race war, that old white-supremacist chestnut. Because behind the trolling veneer, the alt right is more traditional than alt. What Eric believes is vintage racism, the same old wine in a new ironic cask. And Tony Benn’s words ring as true as ever: “Every generation must fight the same battles again and again.”

    “Our civilisation is at war and we need to secure our people,” Eric says. “We must seize power and take control. And the idea that we can do this peacefully is probably not realistic.”

    We get along well enough, Eric and I, but he has the same micro/macro discrepancy as Johnson. And at a macro level, there is only despair and division. “I do not advocate violence, but I will give my life for my blood… and for the honour of my ancestors.”

    He thrums the tarot cards in his hands, his voice getting more animated. “We accept the game that’s being played. We accept that the lion and the gazelle are competition. But they don’t have to hate each other. That’s just how we view it.”

    He shrugs. “It’s scary. The world is scary. This is not a game for children.”

    “We need to get the word out. We are the new GOP!”

    That’s the Alt-Right rallying cry: We are the new GOP! And, to some extent at least, they’re correct. They’re the Trump wing of the GOP and if Trump wins this civil war the Alt-Right really is the new GOP. And if Trump loses the election and doesn’t manage to create some sort of constitutional crisis of “revolution” by refusing to concede defeat, at that point winning that intra-party civil war might be the only “winning” option Trump has left.

    Might the Trumpian Alt-Right succeed and do to the GOP what the Tea Party did not too long ago in the post-election period after suffering a bruising loss? It seems possible. Perhaps even precedented.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 11, 2016, 8:22 pm
  19. With the election less than a month away and the Trump campaign in a seemingly unstoppable downward spiral of self-inflicted injuries, it might be tempting to breath a sigh of relief. But as Josh Marshall reminds us below, it’s not just election day that we need to be concerned about. It’s the day after election day that should be keeping you up at night:

    Talking Points Memo Editor’s Blog

    Danger on November 9th

    By Josh Marshall
    Published October 12, 2016, 1:31 PM EDT

    I’ve been wanting to discuss this. But so much has been happening it keeps getting pushed back to the next day or the next post. Quite simply, everybody needs to be paying close attention to what happens on November 9th.

    It now seems quite likely that Hillary Clinton will win the November election and become the next President of the United States. But Donald Trump has been for months pushing the idea that the election may be stolen from him by some mix of voter fraud (by racial and ethnic minorities) or more systemic election rigging by persons unknown. Polls show that large numbers of his supporters believe this.

    Now, here at TPM we’ve been writing and reporting about the GOP’s ‘vote fraud’ scam going back almost 15 years. It’s a hugely important issue. But to date it has mainly been used to heat up Republican voters and drive state-based voter suppression measures. After a decade-plus pushing the idea, Republicans passed various voter suppression measures in numerous states after the 2010 midterm election. But to date, the ‘voter fraud’ scam has never been fully weaponized as a way to delegitimize and even resist a specific election, certainly not a national election. As Rick Hasen explains here, Donald Trump is doing that now. And he is succeeding in as much as he’s convinced substantial numbers of his supporters that if he loses it will be because the election was stolen.

    It is a very, very dangerous step when a presidential nominee openly threatens to jail his opponent if he wins. It’s no less dangerous when a candidate pushes the idea that an election will be stolen and lays the groundwork for resisting the result. That’s happening. It is difficult to overstate the societal benefit of being able to take it almost as an absolute given and assumption that no matter how intense and close-fought an election gets, virtually everyone will accept the result the day after. Undermining that assumption is of a piece with introducing into the political arena the idea that people who lose election might lose more than the election: loss of money, freedom, or worse etc.

    I’ll put a pin in the discussion for now. But this is something to watch very closely as the next thirty days unfold. It is a very, very big deal. Trump has been making this argument explicitly for weeks. As I said, we’re had the voter fraud racket for years. It’s never been weaponized like this As the pressure on him grows and his own anger mounts there’s every reason to think he’ll keep upping the ante.

    “It is a very, very dangerous step when a presidential nominee openly threatens to jail his opponent if he wins. It’s no less dangerous when a candidate pushes the idea that an election will be stolen and lays the groundwork for resisting the result. That’s happening. It is difficult to overstate the societal benefit of being able to take it almost as an absolute given and assumption that no matter how intense and close-fought an election gets, virtually everyone will accept the result the day after. Undermining that assumption is of a piece with introducing into the political arena the idea that people who lose election might lose more than the election: loss of money, freedom, or worse etc

    And that’s a big part of what makes Trump’s “I’m going to lose because they’re going to rig the election” talk so dangerous: it’s not just an unprecedented attempt to undermine one of the most important social contracts that keep democracy functioning – that we accept the results of the vote barring some sort of actual evidence of massive fraud – but it’s also “a piece with introducing into the political arena the idea that people who lose election might lose more than the election: loss of money, freedom, or worse etc.” If Hillary wins, you’re going to lose everything. That’s the larger right-wing meme behind the Trumps “I can only lose if Hillary cheats” meme.

    And as the article below also reminds us, it’s not just the Trump campaign and Trump supporters pushing these memes. For instance, take conservative columnist Kurt Schlichter, a Ted Cruz backer who still really doesn’t appear to like Trump much at all and who previously fretted over the fact that Trump didn’t even know about the nuclear triad. Well, while Schlichter may not be the biggest fan of Donald Trump, and while Schlichter is predicting that a Trump loss will primarily be due to Trump’s own failings and not election rigging, he’s also calling for conservatives to stop recognizing the validity of a Democratic president and wage a peaceful ‘Conservative Insurgency’. And if that doesn’t work they’ll be forced to go with the non-peaceful version:

    Townhall

    With Clinton We Will Be Under Occupation In Our Own Country

    Kurt Schlichter
    Posted: Oct 10, 2016 6:12 AM

    By the time you read this, we will know if Donald Trump pulled off a miracle and overcame his myriad personal shortcomings to win the second debate and maybe save his candidacy by holding Hillary Clinton accountable for the legacy of failure she intends to continue. But more likely he will have spent the town hall excusing his locker room trash talk while the wife of a serial sex abuser stood smiling that Stepfordy smile as she watched him chase rhetorical squirrels down into the sewer.

    The anti-establishment resistance chose a loathsome creep as their avatar to fight an even worse monster; we could have had Cruz, but the GOP hated him more. So here we are. Let’s face it – the combined force of the Washington elite, the brown-nose media, Hollywood, and an eager group of fascisty inclined liberals allying with deadbeats and welfare cheats will likely defeat the normals for the presidency next month. And we normal Americans will be living under occupation in our own country for the foreseeable future.

    They hate us, you know. Hillary and her corps of elitists hate those of us who refuse to submit, who refuse to bow, who stubbornly insist on our rights and that our voices be heard. And they will gladly tell you that. We’re “deplorable.” We’re “irredeemable.” We’re their enemies.

    Not fellow citizens who disagree. Enemies, to be punished and oppressed. Just ask them – aren’t shy about admitting it. They’re proud of it.

    These are the people who will probably be ruling us for the next four years. And they are both too stupid and to hateful to understand the risk. They think they can create two sets of laws, one for them and one for us, and that no one will object. They think they can try to shut us up, and that we will just shrug and give in. They think they will be able to strip us of our liberty and our livelihoods and our dignity and that we will just go along and accept their tyranny.

    They are playing with fire. And it’s not hard to imagine the terrible consequences of their folly. In fact, I have, and if you read the reviews you’ll see many people have come to the same dark conclusion.

    I want to be wrong. But I fear I’m not.

    The future is bleak – even if Trump miraculously prevails over his genital grab gabbing and the worse stuff his enemies will be dropping down the road, the future is bleak because Trump is merely a firewall against this particular aspiring tyrant. The quest for tyranny won’t stop even if Hillary’s schemes are frustrated this November. There’ll be another libfascist next time, and another.

    Trump won’t bring the foundational conservative change America needs to survive. He’ll merely stop the bleeding for a few years until he goes away. What won’t change is the fact that the system is not merely rigged; it is actively designed to suppress and repress those who reject subjugation by, and submission to, the liberal elite. They do not want us to be, nor do they have any intention of letting us be, free, unmolested, and active participants in our own governance.

    So what do we do?

    We never give up, we never give in. Trump may lose, but Trump is irrelevant to our struggle to maintain our rights and freedom. That fight must continue even as Trump’s personal failings flush his chances down the commode.

    Understand that the left has no moral right to rule us. Hillary Clinton is just another super-white white collar criminal, except instead of buying a pardon from the Clintons to escape justice she called in favors owed to the Clintons. Her leprous claws infect and corrupt everything they touch. Comey’s vaunted integrity is now a bitter joke; the FBI he heads is today understood to simply be another catspaw to be used to protect liberals and punish their enemies. The Department of Justice has zero to do with justice and is barely even a department; it’s more of an annex of the Democrat party. The IRS understands its job is to harass and oppress enemies of the regime under the color of law.

    Yes, “regime.” America has devolved, and will devolve further, into banana republicanism. Remember, when your enemies are “irredeemable,” then you have excused yourself from having to treat them as if they have the rights of “redeemable” citizens. You know, the citizens (and non-citizens) who redeem their votes and obedience for handouts and favors from Democrats.

    So what do we do?

    We refuse to give these bastards a single inch.

    We refuse to give them our respect or obedience. Let’s get our minds right here – the key to liberal success is our consent and acquiescence, and they will demand it based upon the lie that 2016 is a mandate for their petty tyranny. It’s not. It’s a rejection of a creepy buffoon who got where he is simply by being the only one who would stand up to the lies and the cronyism. They can’t make us do anything, unless they send people with guns. And don’t count on femboy hipsters in skinny jeans to be those guys.

    We have to sign off on our own subservience. So let’s not.

    Let’s find new leaders with a taste for victory and no history of loathsomeness – though if Mitt can be smeared anyone can (and will) be. The GOP failed us by failing to offer us a party that would take up the mantle of the Constitution and actually fight – the establishment seems to fear victory more than defeat. That left us a flawed clown as our standard bearer. Trump was the GOP’s fault, but let’s not fool ourselves. Any Republican would have been lied about and savaged as racist, sexist, and all the other ists by the left and the media. The fix was always in.

    You will be lied to and told that Hillary won because Americans yearn for her grating brand of schoolmarm socialism. That’s a lie. She will win only because Donald Trump is a terrible person, and far too many Americans will allow their decency to be exploited by the supporters of a serial sex abuser who has the whole media aggressively covering for her.

    When you have lost fair and square in a republic with democratic features, with your voices heard and your case presented and considered, then you should consider the winner as legitimate and give the appropriate respect to the office. But Hillary Clinton is merely a felon excused from accountability by transparent corruption. We have no moral obligation to her or to her evil schemes. So when you hear that we should fall in line, you should laugh.

    Obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. Find the candidates with the stones to say “No,” and elect them.

    She will seek to crush our freedom of speech. So speak up more, and louder, and fearlessly. Never apologize.

    She will seek to disarm us to make us vulnerable and subservient. Buy guns and ammunition, and create facts on the grounds that will frustrate her unconstitutional fantasies.

    She will try to end run the Constitution. Don’t cooperate. You not only have no moral obligation to support unconstitutional acts but you have an affirmative duty to resist them. When on juries, stand firm for the law instead of partisan prejudice. If you’re a government worker, whistle-blow.

    The polite resistance of the Tea Party was met with media and government oppression. The impolite resistance of the Donald Trump candidacy was met with media and government oppression. There is one last option on the table – we must resist with a peaceful but resolute conservative insurgency designed to, over the long haul, retake our rightful place as citizens and establish our nation’s commitment to the Constitution through political means.

    The alternative is to keep being pushed and pushed until the normal and decent majority of Americans can fall back no farther. And then real civil disorder and conflict will be nearly inevitable because the disenfranchised will have no choice but to either surrender or begin to take steps outside of the system as currently constituted.

    No true American wants that. But no true American will consent to live on his knees either.

    “We refuse to give them our respect or obedience. Let’s get our minds right here – the key to liberal success is our consent and acquiescence, and they will demand it based upon the lie that 2016 is a mandate for their petty tyranny. It’s not. It’s a rejection of a creepy buffoon who got where he is simply by being the only one who would stand up to the lies and the cronyism. They can’t make us do anything, unless they send people with guns. And don’t count on femboy hipsters in skinny jeans to be those guys.

    So basically, if Hillary wins, Schlichter wants to the right-wing to just say “no, we won’t be following laws coming from liberal elected officials anymore”, and try to create a Bundy-style armed showdown situation. Except it won’t be a showdown on a ranch in Nevada or a wildlife reserve in Oregon. It will be conservatives everywhere just refusing to recognize the validity of the government. And not because Trump loses to rigging of the election but just because liberals have no moral authority. That’s Schlichter’s message:


    Understand that the left has no moral right to rule us. Hillary Clinton is just another super-white white collar criminal, except instead of buying a pardon from the Clintons to escape justice she called in favors owed to the Clintons. Her leprous claws infect and corrupt everything they touch. Comey’s vaunted integrity is now a bitter joke; the FBI he heads is today understood to simply be another catspaw to be used to protect liberals and punish their enemies. The Department of Justice has zero to do with justice and is barely even a department; it’s more of an annex of the Democrat party. The IRS understands its job is to harass and oppress enemies of the regime under the color of law.

    The polite resistance of the Tea Party was met with media and government oppression. The impolite resistance of the Donald Trump candidacy was met with media and government oppression. There is one last option on the table – we must resist with a peaceful but resolute conservative insurgency designed to, over the long haul, retake our rightful place as citizens and establish our nation’s commitment to the Constitution through political means.

    The alternative is to keep being pushed and pushed until the normal and decent majority of Americans can fall back no farther. And then real civil disorder and conflict will be nearly inevitable because the disenfranchised will have no choice but to either surrender or begin to take steps outside of the system as currently constituted.

    No true American wants that. But no true American will consent to live on his knees either.

    Yes, Schlichter doesn’t want a violent insurrection (LOL!), he just sees no other option. Because that’s how bad Hillary is. And not just Hillary but modern America in general (he recently wrote that a “Fall of Rome” scenario would be the best for America).

    But at least Schlichter is just a right-wing columnist and now, say, and elected official. Like, for instance, the governor of Maine:

    Talking Points Memo Livewire

    LePage Calls Obama A ‘Dictator’ While Cleaning Up ‘Authoritarian’ Comments

    By Esme Cribb Published October 12, 2016, 1:33 PM EDT

    In a press conference Wednesday morning, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) cleared up that he meant to describe Donald Trump as “authoritative” rather than “authoritarian” in a Tuesday interview.

    “Instead of the word authoritative, I used the word authoritarian,” LePage told reporters, calling it a “misword.”

    He also doubled down on his criticism of President Barack Obama, who he called a “dictator.”

    “I called him autocratic yesterday, but let me be very clear,” LePage said, winding up. “I believe the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, is a dictator.”

    LePage went on to praise Trump as “a very powerful personality.”

    The Maine governor held the entire press conference behind a podium adorned with Clinton-scandal-themed Russian nesting dolls:

    “I called him autocratic yesterday, but let me be very clear,” LePage said, winding up. “I believe the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, is a dictator.”

    Yes, during a press conference where Governor LePage was clarifying what he meant when he previously said, “We need a Donald Trump to show some authoritarian power in our country and bring back the rule of law,” Governor LePage assured us that he actually meant to say “authoritative power”. Also, Obama is a dictator. So while LePage ran scared from his own words for some reason he wasn’t scared about insulting a man he claims to think is a dictator. Imagine that.

    So that’s all part of why November 8th, election day, might just be a prelude to the BIG contest this election season: what do we do if Donald Trump and the rest of the far-right just decide to not only declare the election invalid but declare Democrats and liberal policies in general as somehow invalid too and something people MUST oppose at all costs. In other words, remember that infamous meeting that took place in 2009 on the night Barack Obama was sworn into office where a number of GOP elected officials agreed to run a legislative ‘insurgency’ modeled after the Taliban? What do we do if the GOP has that same meeting after this election, but invite the rest of the public to follow them in their ‘insurgency’? It’s a pretty big question.

    It’s also a reminder that there’s no law guaranteeing that A Handmaid’s Tale remains a tale.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 12, 2016, 3:14 pm
  20. It looks like Donald Trump has his rebuttal ready for not just the current maelstrom of sexual assault charges against him but all other charges that might come out in the future: It turns out there’s a global conspiracy of power elites, not just a US elites but a global elites, who are all conspiring against Donald Trump and the American people. Along with the media. And they really hate Trump because he represents an existential threat to their global conspiracy. Therefore, all of these sexual assault allegations you’re hearing about Donald Trump (and anything else about him that might come out going forward) are part of the global conspiracy so just ignore them because they’re all lies:

    The Washington Post

    Donald Trump says there’s a global conspiracy against him

    By Chris Cillizza
    October 13 at 3:18 PM

    Donald Trump has never been one to shy away from embracing conspiracy theories. This is the man who suggested that Ted Cruz’s father might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Who insisted a malfunctioning microphone was the work of a media determined to keep him from winning. Who spent five years “investigating” whether President Obama is a U.S. citizen. (Turns out he is!) Who suggested that the death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia might have been the result of foul play. And who speculated about the circumstances surrounding the suicide of longtime Clinton confidant Vince Foster.

    On Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla., Trump — with his campaign reeling from revelations regarding lewd comments he made about women in 2005 and a series of allegations of groping — delivered the latest iteration of his stump speech. It was an address that can be summed up in a single word: “Conspiracy.”

    Time and again during the speech, Trump castigated the media, the Clintons and the Clinton-media complex for what he described as a concerted attempt to not only smear him but to disenfranchise the voices of working people across the country.

    “For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don’t have your good in mind. Our campaign represents a true existential threat like they haven’t seen before,” Trump said.

    It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities,” Trump said.

    “This is well documented, and the establishment that protects them has engaged in a massive coverup of widespread criminal activity at the State Department and the Clinton Foundation in order to keep the Clintons in power,” Trump said.

    “These attacks are orchestrated by the Clintons and their media allies. The only thing Hillary Clinton has going for herself is the press . . . without the press, she is absolutely zero,” Trump said.

    “This is a conspiracy against you, the American people, and we cannot let this happen or continue,” Trump said.

    Conspiracy theories — and those who ascribe to them — are bulletproof. Anyone who doubts their veracity is seen as part of the “them” in the “us vs. them” dynamic of the conspiracy theorist’s world. Of course you would deny that the media and the Clintons are conspiring to get Hillary elected so she can pursue a globalist agenda and destroy American jobs. You just can’t see the whole truth. Or maybe you don’t want to!

    Trump’s Florida speech confirms that a bunker mentality has now seized the Trump campaign. It’s “us vs. them.” But there are too few “us” and far too many “them” to make it a viable election strategy.

    “This is a conspiracy against you, the American people, and we cannot let this happen or continue”

    Well, that settles that. Trump’s campaign meltdown is the result of a global conspiracy and not a well-documented legacy of predatory lecherousness that was going to predictably come out sooner or later.

    So it looks like we can add “global elite conspiracy” to the list of reasons Trump is going to give when he refuses to concede defeat after the election and tries to start some sort of Trumpian insurrection. And since “global elite conspiracy” has become synonymous with “Jewish bankers”, and since Donald Trump is the Alt-Right candidate and the “Jewish bankers” meme is one of their favorites, we now have to ask ourselves if the final stretch of this campaign season is going to go full StormFront, with Trump declaring war on Illuminati Jewish bankers or something, or if Trump keeps the “global conspiracy” rhetoric as a very loud StormFront dog-whistle left to the audience to interpret. Either way, the Alt-Right/StormFront crowd is going to have no problem deciphering want Trump is trying to say:

    Talking Points Memo Editor’s Blog

    Nationalism Into the Abyss

    By Josh Marshall
    Published October 13, 2016, 3:15 PM EDT

    Is it desperation? The themes and instincts of the anti-Semitic radicals and extremists his campaign stews in? A “global conspiracy” of the political elites, international finance and the media who have “robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put the money in the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”

    Whatever Trump is thinking or means, the white nationalists and neo-Nazis he’s activated will hear his speech with glee because he’s channeling text book anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, with all the code words and emotional tenor. I genuinely don’t know how much of this he even understands or cares about. But his rage and anger is in tune with these movements. And he’ll cast about for the most coherent and resonant storyline that captures it. It doesn’t matter what he thinks. It matters what he does.

    It’s possible these are simply the tropes and storylines of international Jewish conspiracies repurposed with the Jews removed from the picture. But it hardly matters. The substrate of traditional anti-Semitism is just as toxic as what grows from it. These are the kinds of conspiratorial, revanchist fantasies that spur violence and attacks on the mundane ordinariness of democracy itself.

    “It’s possible these are simply the tropes and storylines of international Jewish conspiracies repurposed with the Jews removed from the picture. But it hardly matters. The substrate of traditional anti-Semitism is just as toxic as what grows from it. These are the kinds of conspiratorial, revanchist fantasies that spur violence and attacks on the mundane ordinariness of democracy itself.”

    And now we get to see where he takes this meme next. Was this speech an introduction to the new campaign slogan or just a one off Trumpian rant? We’ll find out, but keep in mind that whether or not Trump himself pushes the “global elites are conspiracy against you and me” meme over the next few weeks, a huge chunk of Trump’s base already follow Trump’s lose media ally Alex Jones and therefore this audience has already heard those memes before and will continue hearing them for the foreseeable future. And you can be pretty sure they’re going to the Trump campaign is going to be directing as much traffic as possible to sites like InfoWars given the trajectory of Trump’s campaign. So if your very conservative Trump supporting friend informs you that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are possessed by demons and that’s why we shouldn’t recognize the outcome of the election, feel free to be profoundly saddened, but don’t be super surprised.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 13, 2016, 2:24 pm
  21. The dates on Schlichter’s book “Conservative Insurgency” read 2009-2041.
    Why 2041? Perhaps this is to call to mind the date of 1941. That was a dark and bloody year in Nazi-occupied Germany.

    Posted by Uncle Grody | October 14, 2016, 12:44 pm

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