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Reagan’s Nazis

Dave Emory’s entire lifetime of work is available on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books available on this site.)

COMMENT: With the passing of Margaret Thatcher, we’ve been treated to predictable hagiographies of her ally Ronald Reagan. A recent poll found that 58% of respondents would vote for Reagan over Barack Obama.

We, on the other hand, are taking the occasion to highlight some of the fundamentals of The Gipper’s regime.

Long story made short: Ronald Reagan was a fascist and a traitor, whose reign implemented Nazi control over America.

A few points to consider, before delving into Helene von Damm, Reagan’s director of personnel and protege of Otto von Bolschwing, Adolf Eichmann’s superior in administering “Jewish matters” for Hitler:

  • As discussed in Seth Rosenfeld’s Subversives, Mr. “Government is not the solution; government is the problem” spent decades as a red-baiting informer for J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, frequently “snitching” on fellow Hollywood professionals. His rise in the political ranks was derivative of his work as a paid informer. (Rosenfeld relates incidents in which Reagan informed on people whom he simply disliked and who were not “Soviet agents” or anything of the kind.)
  • In addition to working as a paid political informer, Reagan furthered his career through a long association with organized crime, as set forth in Dan Moldea’s Dark Victory. (The first chapter of this important book can be read online. ” . . . These records show that Reagan, the president of SAG and an FBI informant against Hollywood communists, was the subject of a federal grand jury investigation whose focus was Reagan’s possible role in a suspected conspiracy between MCA and the actors’ union.  According to Justice Department documents, government prosecutors had concluded that decisions made by SAG while under Reagan’s leadership became “the central fact of MCA’s whole rise to power.”  
  • Reagan helped cover-up the assassination of President Kennedy–first by refusing to extradite Edgar Eugene Bradley to New Orleans as requested by Jim Garrison and then through his work on the Rockefeller Commission, which found no involvement by the CIA in JFK’s murder. (Elements of CIA, including George H.W. Bush were deeply involved in Kennedy’s murder.
  • Reagan’s fiscal program–seen as archetypal by the “austerians”–increased the U.S. national debt by 350%!
  • Reagan’s financial deregulation–also seen as archetypal by conservatives and presided over by George H.W. Bush–resulted in, among other things, the looting of the S & L’s. Stanford Law Review put the taxpayer-funded bailout at 1.5 trillion dollars.
  • While instituting a “war on drugs” that saw minor offenders sent to prison for first-time offenses and swelled the prison population (also at taxpayer expense), the Reagan/Casey CIA imported massive amounts of cocaine and other drugs to help fund covert operations.
  • As Paul Krugman said when discussing the deregulation mania that led to the financial meltdown of 2008, “it started with Reagan.”

 It would be impossible to exaggerate the damage Reagan inflicted on this country. Nor should that be surprising to one familiar with the realities of his administration, which was a front for the Underground Reich

For decades, the GOP incorporated Third Reich alumni into its ethnic outreach organization. This political alliance culminated in the Reagan regime. The lists of personnel from which Reagan made his appointments was drawn up by Helene von Damm, a protege of Otto von Bolschwing. (Mr. Emory played a small role in the breaking of the original San Jose Mercury story in 1981, along with his late, dear friend Mae Brussell.)

Von Damm’s career arc is inextricably linked with the intelligence community and runs as follows:

  • She enters the U.S. by marrying a member of the same military intelligence unit in which William Clark served. (Clark went on to become one of Reagan’s national security advisers.) After entering the country, she divorced her husband. This is a common method used by intelligence services to move someone across borders.
  • She then married German-born banker Christian von Damm, who became the head of Bank of America’s branch in La Paz, Bolivia in the early 1980’s. (This was at time  when vast amounts of cocaine were being imported into the United States to support the Contras, following the “Cocaine Coup” of 1980. As discussed in AFA #27, that CIA coup was implemented using former Gestapo officer Klaus Barbie, as well as Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.)
  • After her work as the personnel director for Reagan’s White House, Von Damm was appointed U.S. ambassador to Austria, where she married a hotelier named Goertler. Following their divorce Goertler (also Gurtler) allegedly shot himself to death.

Reagan’s 1980 election brought to power the elements incubated in the Nazified GOP ethnic milieu: William Casey orchestrated the State Department machinations to bring the GOP Nazi “ethnics” into the country, after which he became Reagan’s campaign manager and then head of the CIA. Reagan’s Vice President George H.W. Bush had installed the Nazis as a permanent branch of the GOP while serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee. Reagan had served as the chief spokesperson for the Crusade For Freedom, the illegal covert operation that brought the Nazis into the U.S. in the first place.

Some of the people with whom Von Damm staffed the Reagan administration, sourced below:

  • Ykaterina Chumachenko of the OUN/B–Deputy Director of Presidential Liaison.
  • Bob Whitaker–Aryan Nations associate and Spe­cial Assis­tant to the Direc­tor of the Office of Per­son­nel Man­age­ment.
  • John O. Koehler–selected to replace Pat Buchanan as White House Communications Director, he resigned after it was revealed that he had been a background in the Hitler Youth. 
  • Todd Blodgett–White House aide, who went on to manage Resistance Records for the neo-Nazi Liberty Lobby.

Old Nazis, The New Right, and the Repub­li­can Party by Russ Bel­lant; South End Press [HC]; Copy­right 1988, 1989, 1991 by Russ Bel­lant; ISBN 0–89608-419–1; pp. 76–77.

EXCERPT: . . . On July 20, 1988, George [H.W.] Bush reaf­firmed the ties between the Repub­li­can Party and the ABN by mak­ing a cam­paign stop at Fedorak’s Ukrain­ian Cul­tural Cen­ter in War­ren, Michi­gan. Bush deliv­ered a hard-line for­eign pol­icy speech to those attend­ing the annual Cap­tive Nations ban­quet spon­sored jointly by the Cap­tive Natins Com­mit­tee and the ABN. Shar­ing the dais with Fedo­rak and Bush was Kather­ine Chu­machenko, for­merly the direc­tor of the UCCA’s Cap­tive Nations Com­mit­tee and cur­rently the Deputy Direc­tor for Pub­lic Liai­son at the White House. [Empha­sis added.] Ignatius M. Billinsky, Pres­i­dent of UCCA, had already been named Hon­orary Chair of Ukraini­ans for Bush, and Bohdan Fedo­rak named National vice-chair of Ukraini­ans for Bush. . . .

“A White Future is Com­ing: an Inter­view with Bob Whitaker” by Kevin Alfred Strom; Amer­i­can Dis­si­dent Voices; 7/3/2004.

EXCERPT: . . . KAS: When we intro­duced you for the first time to our read­ers in National Van­guard, we gave a cap­sule biog­ra­phy of you as follows:

‘Mr. Whitaker was born and raised in South Car­olina, and attended the Uni­ver­sity of South Car­olina and the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia Grad­u­ate School. He has been a col­lege pro­fes­sor, an inter­na­tional avi­a­tion nego­tia­tor, a Capi­tol Hill senior staffer, a Rea­gan Admin­is­tra­tion appointee, and a writer for the Voice of America.”

So you’re a Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion appointee — what’s the story behind that?

BW: I was Spe­cial Assis­tant to the Direc­tor of the Office of Per­son­nel Man­age­ment, in charge of secu­rity clear­ances, staffing, and that sort of thing.

KAS: Why is some­one with such excel­lent estab­lish­ment cre­den­tials defend­ing the White race, as you do in your work, with­out apol­ogy or regret? Isn’t that some­thing that sim­ply ‘isn’t done’ these days by any­one who wants to retain his posi­tion in pri­vate or pub­lic life?

BW: Well, I did it. And they cleared me at the high­est pos­si­ble lev­els, so if you do it right, you can do it. And I’m good at it. . . .

“Baker Breaks the Fever” by Ed Mag­nu­son; Time; 3/16/1987.

EXCERPT: . . . Baker swiftly dis­posed of one inher­ited per­son­nel prob­lem. He dis­missed John O. Koehler, who had replaced Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Direc­tor Pat Buchanan last month. Koehler’s mem­ber­ship in a Nazi youth orga­ni­za­tion at the age of ten had embar­rassed the Admin­is­tra­tion, but what sealed his fate was his arro­gance, illus­trated by a refusal to move out of Buchanan’s office to make way for Can­non. . . .

­­“Holo­caust Museum Shoot­ing Sus­pect Had Been Grow­ing More Hate­ful and Des­per­ate”; Fox News; 6/11/2009.

EXCERPT: . . . Todd Blod­gett, a for­mer White House aide to Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan who later became affil­i­ated with extrem­ist groups, said he spent a lot of time with Von Brunn in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Von Brunn is obsessed with Jew­ish peo­ple, Blod­gett told the Post. He had equal con­tempt for both Jews and blacks, but if he had to pick one group to wipe out, he’d always say it would be Jews.

Von Brunn went so far as to say he fought on the wrong side of World War II, accord­ing to Blod­gett. . . .

For The Record #211: Fascism and the Black Metal Music Scene

This broad­cast details the grow­ing fas­cist influ­ence within the “black metal” music genre.

A hard-core, icon­o­clas­tic, pagan-influenced form of rock music, black met­als employs the lex­i­con and iconog­ra­phy of fas­cism and Nazism as a vehi­cle for shock­ing the estab­lish­ment. Within the black metal milieu is a grow­ing fas­cist, Nazi and satanic ele­ment that is con­sciously attempt­ing to manip­u­late the genre in order to win alien­ated youth over to the fas­cist cause.

Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of a recent book about the sub­ject, the pro­gram details the explicit fas­cist, Nazi and satanic con­nec­tions of some of the lead­ing fig­ures involved with the black metal scene. The pro­gram details the occult and fas­cist con­nec­tions of fig­ures like Boyd Rice. Michael Moyni­han and oth­ers. (As repeat­edly noted in the pro­gram, the black metal scene is not fas­cist. Ele­ments within it are.) It should be noted that fas­cism and Nazism have (in the past) uti­lized mar­ginal and alien­ated ele­ments of soci­ety as street soldiers.

As was the case with the Strasserite wing of the NSDAP (the Ger­man Nazi party under Hitler), these ele­ments are fre­quently liq­ui­dated after they have served their pur­pose. It should be noted that William Pierce (the head of the National Alliance, the most impor­tant Amer­i­can Nazi orga­ni­za­tion) has pur­chased Resis­tance Records, a Nazi-skinhead music company.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Boyd Rice’s back­ground in the Amer­i­can Front (a domes­tic Nazi orga­ni­za­tion); Rice’s sta­tus as a mem­ber of the Coun­cil of Nine (the gov­ern­ing body of the Church of Satan); Rice’s ivolve­ment with the Abraxas Foun­da­tion (an indus­trial music milieu); the involve­ment of Feral House pub­lish­ing guru Adam Par­frey with Abraxas; Parfrey’s close friend­ship with Boyd Rice; Parfrey’s close asso­ci­a­tion with Michael Moyni­han; Parfrey’s asso­ci­a­tion with Nazi, Holocaust-denier and Lib­erty Lobby asso­ciate Keith Stimely; Moynihan’s explic­itly satanic ori­en­ta­tion; an evi­den­tiary trib­u­tary con­nect­ing Moyni­han to the milieu of the neo-Nazi ter­ror­ist group the Order (inspired by The Turner Diaries, authored by William Pierce); the Abraxas Foundation’s embrace of Charles Man­son; Moynihan’s fas­cist activism; Moynihan’s Holo­caust revi­sion­ism; the asso­ci­a­tion between the Lib­erty Lobby and Resis­tance Records; the involve­ment of for­mer Rea­gan White House Staffer Todd Blod­gett in the Lib­erty Lobby’s financ­ing of Resis­tance Records; William Pierce’s stated inten­tion to use Resis­tance Records to mar­ket black metal music; the Scan­di­na­vian black metal scene; the church burn­ings and other vio­lence per­pe­trated by Scan­di­na­vian black metal activists; the Odin­ist and Satanic ori­en­ta­tion of some black metal activists; the fas­cist and occult activism of New Zealand pub­lisher Kerry Bolton (the pub­lisher of, among other zines, Nexus). (Recorded on 3/11/2000.)



11 comments for “Reagan’s Nazis”

  1. There is a new documentary coming out about Reagan and Wasserman of MCA – This article does not credit the work that Dan Moldea did in “Dark Victory”, but it’s good to see the mainstream press chipping away at Reagan’s facade:


    EXCLUSIVE: Revealed, how the MAFIA helped Ronald Reagan get to the White House.

    Shocking documentary reveals Mob connections that catapulted him to the presidency – and how a probe was thwarted at ‘the highest levels’
    •President Reagan owed his acting and political career to Hollywood mogul Lew Wasserman, chief of entertainment behemoth MCA, who was in bed with the Mob

    •An investigation into the relationship between MCA and the Mafia was halted and Federal prosecutors believe it was one of the ‘political favors’ that can be traced back to Reagan’s White House

    •’Ronald Reagan is a complete slave of MCA who would do their bidding on anything,’ one secret Justice Department document revealed

    •According to the producer of the documentary, Wages of Spin II: Bring Down The Wall, one MCA executive had ties to Mob boss John Gotti
    •’Reagan’s whole career in politics was subsidized by MCA,’ he asserts, and helped him financially because for a long time he was living above his means
    •The Mob was probably working Nancy Reagan too, according to the producer. ‘She was a driving force behind Reagan’
    By Jerry Oppenheimer
    Published: 13:22 EST, 21 May 2014

    A shocking new documentary screened exclusively by MailOnline exposes the chilling conncections between the Mafia, one of Hollywood’s most powerful entertainment companies and its head honcho Lew Wasserman and President Ronald Reagan and his Justice Department.

    From the mid-1950’s to the early 1960’s, Sunday evenings were reserved for millions of families to sit in front of the tube and watch the General ElectricTheatre on CBS hosted by genial Ronald Reagan, whose movie career had since dried up.

    Television had offered him another chance.

    What viewers didn’t know was that Reagan was given this new opportunity of visibility and stardom in a highly lucrative and rare deal. Along with a big paycheck, he was made part-owner of the popular program that he hosted for eight years, making him extremely wealthy.

    His mentor, close friend and the power behind the deal was Lew Wasserman, the very private head of the Music Corporation of America, better known as MCA, a Hollywood entertainment behemoth.

    Under Lew Wasserman’s brilliant and often brutal leadership, MCA’s hugely financially successful forms of mass entertainment have been popular for generations of couch potatoes and movie-goers: from Leave It to Beaver to Miami Vice on television; from American Graffiti to Jaws on the big screen.

    As a talent agency in the beginning, its rich acting stable had included Errol Flynn, Greta Garbo, Fred Astaire, Joan Crawford and Henry Fonda and Bette Davis. Wasserman had personally signed and represented many of them. Charlton Heston once described Wasserman as the ‘Godfather of the film industry.’

    Ronald Reagan, however, was the brightest star in Wasserman’s personal firmament.

    But there was a dark side to Wasserman – and to Reagan – all of which is revealed in a shocking new documentary, Wages of Spin II: Bring Down The Wall, that, according to the film’s producer and those interviewed, links both of them in darkly shadowed ways to the Mafia, and the killing of a U.S. Department of Justice organized crime Strike Force investigation into Mob influence and infiltration at the highest levels of MCA.

    It’s a case that one participant in the film declares ‘dwarfs the Watergate scandal’.

    Neither Reagan nor Wasserman were ever prosecuted, let alone interrogated as a result of the events presented in the film because both were so well-insulated.

    Reagan died in 2004 at 93 after suffering from Alzheimer’s for a decade, and Wasserman died in 2002 at 89. He was said to be one of the largest contributors to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs in Simi Valley, California.

    Seven years before Wasserman’s death, President Clinton — who like Reagan got a lot of campaign and financial support from Hollywood power brokers — presented Wasserman with the nation’s highest civilian honor in a ceremony at the White House, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Wages of Spin II: Bring Down The Wall, produced and directed by Philadelphia filmmaker Shawn Swords, whose previous highly acclaimed documentary revealed the shady business practices of popular TV icon Dick Clark, will soon have it’s world premier.

    But MailOnline has been given an exclusive screening of the complex film which includes candid interviews with, among others, two former top Justice Department prosecutors and an ex-FBI agent who were spearheading the ill-fated top-secret probe of MCA. These men lost or left their jobs when their investigation was suddenly ordered shut down at ‘the highest levels in Washington,’ according to Swords and those he interviewed on camera over a two to three year period.

    Richard Stavin, a former veteran federal prosecutor who was assigned to the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Strike Force in Los Angeles and was an integral member of the MCA-Mafia probe team, declared in the film for the first time:

    ‘It’s my belief that MCA and its’ involvement with Mafia individuals, Mafia-dominated companies and our inability to pursue those was not happenstance. I believe it was an organized, orchestrated effort on the part of certain individuals within Washington, D.C. to keep a hands-off policy towards MCA.

    ‘At the time, Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States and Edwin Meese was the Attorney General of the United States [Stavin’s ultimate boss]. A little known fact was MCA and Lew Wasserman supported Ronald Reagan when he wanted to become president of the Screen Actors Guild, which was the launch of Mr. Reagan’s political career.

    ‘I would like to think that the people in the highest levels of this government were not protective of MCA…But I’m not so sure about that.’

    Stavin left his Mafia crime-fighting career to which he was dedicated because, as he said on camera,

    ‘I was unable to fulfill the duties for which I took my sworn oath.’

    Another veteran federal Strike Force prosecutor involved in the probe of organized crime infiltration at MCA, Marvin Rudnick, known for his bulldog tenacity, was shockingly fired by the Justice Department and considered ‘rogue’ because he wanted to continue to pursue the suspected MCA bad guys, even if the trail led to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    But the investigation was mysteriously ordered closed. He was later reinstated.

    ‘For the Justice Department to kill the case was a little extraordinary,’ Rudnick declared on camera.

    ‘You wonder where it starts and where it ends. We did not get the investigation done because of intereference from high up.’

    Special Agent Thomas G. Gates, who was heading up the FBI end of the investigation, declared in the film: “The powers trumped what we were trying to to do. The players within MCA tried to stay as low-key as they could. I don’t know how much influence Wasserman was able to put on President

    Reagan when he was in office because he [Wasserman] was always a backdoor participant, but we knew who he was associating with.”

    Gates stated that information about the probe ‘was leaking out that shouldn’t have happened’ from the Justice Department in Washington.

    The film’s director, Shawn Swords, asserted to MailOnline that the Mob or MCA actually had a mole in the Justice Department. “It was somebody who was feeding information to the Mob and MCA. The FBI knew it was one of twelve people, but they couldn’t finger the guilty one.’

    Along with Rudnick’s firing, and Stavin’s quiting after his part of the MCA probe was shut down, all of the sealed files and wiretap documents were said to have mysteriously disappeared from a supposedly secure federal government warehouse in Maryland.

    Who was pulling the strings behind all of these questionable events, the more than two-hour documentary essentially asks.

    As an unnamed Hollywood source was once quoted in a Justice Department document: “Ronald Reagan is a complete slave of MCA who would do their bidding on anything.’

    In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Shawn Swords said about Reagan and MCA, ‘One hand washed the other. That relationship was so incestuous, and Ed Meese, who was the attorney general [appointed by President Reagan] who headed the Justice Department was really good friends with the board of directors at MCA.

    ‘Reagan’s whole career in politics was subsidized by them and helped him financially because for a long time he was living above his means. MCA backed every political campaign he ran. That’s the shocking history — that MCA was prevalent in his career and that they did so much quid pro quo for each other.’

    ‘Ronald Reagan was an opportunist. His whole career was guided by MCA — by Wasserman and [MCA founder] Jules Stein who bragged that Reagan was malleable, that they could do what they wanted with him.

    ‘That thing about Reagan being tough on [organized] crime — that’s a fallacy.’

    When Reagan’s movie career was fading and Wasserman had difficulty getting him starring roles, a decision was made that would launch his political career. In 1947, with the aggressive support and backing of the Godfather at MCA, Reagan was elected president of the powerful Screen Actors Guild, known as SAG, a position in which he would serve for some seven terms.

    SAG’s bylaws had always banned talent agencies like MCA from producing any form of entertainment, such as TV programs and movies. But during Reagan’s fifth year as the guild’s president a secret blanket waiver was negotiated with SAG, and it gave MCA and Wasserman the platinum opportunity to not only market talent as agents but also to move into TV and film making.

    After the waiver was granted, MCA formed MCA Television Limited that handled syndication, and then Review Productions to make TV and films, and got the jump on any competitition, making it a Hollywood powerhouse.

    When Reagan ran into financial difficulties it was MCA under Wasserman that got him lucrative land deals that made him even wealthier. The General Electric Theater that Reagan hosted and for which he even produced programs was an MCA-Review property.

    After Reagan was elected governor of California in 1966, with support and campaign financing from MCA and associates, some with shady ties, MCA benefited from some of his executive decisions.
    Fast forward to the mid-1980s when Reagan was in the Oval Office. MCA was then in negotiations to sell out to the giant Japanese company Matsushita Electric Industrial for billions of dollars. From that deal Wasserman reportedly was to benefit to the tune of $500 million.

    But the big danger for him and his company, dubbed the ‘Octopus,’ because its tentacles were in virtually all aspects of the entertainment business, was an ongoing U.S. Justice Department probe into suspected organized crime influence at MCA and in particular Wasserman’s long purported ties to Mafia figures.

    If the probe became public, it would most likely have impacted Wall Street and MCA’s publicly held stock, and possibly driven away the Japanese buyers and the lucrative purchase. Wasserman, according to the documentary, wasn’t going to let that happen.

    The Justice Department-FBI investigation into Mob ties within MCA started by chance when organized crime strike force prosecutor Marvin Rudnick came across intelligence that a man by the name of Salvatore Pisello was in the hierarchy of MCA.

    A red flag instantly went up. How and why, Rudnick wondered, was a high-ranking soldier in the Gambino Mafia family of New York who was known to his associates as ‘Sal The Banker’, ‘Sal the Swindler,’ and ‘Big Sal,’ doing businesss in MCA’s offices in Universal City.

    Pisello had just been sentenced to four years in prison on tax evasion charges, and Rudnick at a hearing in U.S. District Court in L.A. stated that evidence had been uncovered linking him to ‘criminal activity in the record industry.’

    Pisello had denied any involvement in organized crime, and declared, ‘I’ll go to prison for 20 years if anyone can prove that. I go to church every Sunday and the only organization I ever belonged to was the Holy Name Society.’ Regarding his MCA connection, he declared, ‘I’m in the record business for one year and I’m supposed to have destroyed the industry.’

    But his connections and dealings became the target of several federal grand jury probes. MCA denied knowing anything about his alleged organized crime links, and claimed to have no idea how he got in the door.

    The investigation though led to other crime figures involved with MCA before it got shut down.
    Another source interviewed on camera in the documentary, investigative reporter William K. Knoedelseder, Jr., author of Stiffed: A True Story of MCA, the Music Business and the Mafia, published in 1993, had for a dozen years been covering organized crime and other corruption in the entertainment industry for The Los Angeles Times.

    He began writing revelatory stories for the paper about Rudnick and Stavin’s investigation, and was the first to report that Pisello ‘wound up in high-level meetings with MCA officers’ negotiating lucrative record deals ‘that would place him among the best-paid executives in the industry.’

    But like Rudnick and Stavin, the series of stories was a newspaper career-ender for Knoedelseder. He was ordered by editors to stop writing about MCA, and he quit his job, according to a 2006 book called ‘Supermob’ that also dealt with Reagan, Wasserman and the Mafia, and it noted that the publisher of the LA Times at the time had gotten his job ‘thanks to Lew Wasserman’s kind intercession.’

    Rudnick had also been ordered to drop his end of the investigation.

    ‘I was told by my boss not to introduce evidence that was embarrassing to MCA,’ he stated in the documentary. ‘My office was being told by somebody higher up to stop the investigation to show how Pisello got into MCA which was the most important part of the case. MCA executives weren’t cooperating because somebody high up in MCA was trying to kill the deal.

    ‘For MCA to be doing business so closely with Pisello was a primary example of what the Strike Force should be doing, and when the Strike Force looked the other way and turned it down, then you know darn well interference took place. As a prosecutor we should be investigating the people who are interfering, not just walking away from it and this is what I tried to do.’

    At one point, Rudnick realized he was being followed as he made his investigative rounds. When he told his superiors in Washington, their response was, ‘We got your back.’

    According to Rudnick, ‘MCA decided to reach out and try to kill our case which they eventually did. MCA sent people out to follow me while I was driving, they stopped a wiretap that was legal. They were able to interfere with all kinds of official acts, but nobody at the highest levels of the Justice Department seemed to care or wanted to stop it. It went all the way to the top.’

    During the course of the investigation before it was shut down by powers in Washington the probers found another alleged Mob connection at MCA — Eugene Giaquinto, who was the head of MCA Home Video. Wiretaps had caught Giaquinto talking to ‘La Cosa Nostra people in the East,’ and the FBI agent Gates stated on camera that ‘Wasserman was Giaquinto’s mentor and promoted in the MCA’s Home Entertainment Group which was very powerful.’

    According to Stavin, Giaquinto, who was an executive at MCA for some two decades, had ties to Mob boss John Gotti, and it was learned by the investigators that when a power struggle between two division heads at MCA had erupted it was allegedly resolved by Gotti, dubbed the ‘Teflon Don,’ and the ‘Dapper Don,’ who was Boss of New York’s Gambino Family at the time. He died in prison in 2002.

    In one bizarre spin-off to the whole complicated case, Gotti was asked to kill a planned movie in which the actor James Caan, who starred in “The Godfather” reportedly was to play the role of Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky.

    Giaquinto, a target of the MCA-Mafia probe, reportedly was involved in trying to get the film blocked. Caan dropped the project.

    In the book Supermob, Giaquinto was identified as the source who went into action to get the MCA-Mafia probe brought to an end. The author quoted the source as recalling Giaquinto going ballistic and declaring, ‘I’m calling [Attorney general Ed] Meese and getting this thing stopped right now.’ The book also quoted an attorney for several MCA executives who had been cooperating with Strike Force prosecutor Marvin Rudnick as saying, ‘There was [talk] about how Ed Meese wanted certain actions taken because Nancy Reagan had a friend in high places in the entertainment industry.’

    According to Swords, ‘The Mob were probably working her, too. She was on the board of governors for the Screen Actors Guild. She was a driving force behind Reagan. Apparently she was the one who was pushing him into everything.’

    Mrs. Reagan turns 93 this coming July 6.

    While the once liberal democrat Reagan became a popular screen star and later switched political allegiance and became a conservative Republican political hero to millions, Wasserman was little known to the general public. A tall and gaunt man of mystery who sported oversize eyeglasses and dressed like a mortician — black suits, white shirts, black ties, Wasserman made his army of underling agents dress similarly. In the business of entertainment , they were considered ‘the black-suited Mafia.’

    Wasserman was seen as frighteningly ruthless with a temper that made powerful men cringe.
    His mentor in the begining of his career was Jules Stein, an opthalmologist from the Windy City who in the early years of the Roaring ’20s had founded the Music Corporation of America, which booked bands in the midwest, and had close ties to shady figures, reputedly members of the Chicago Mob.

    A poor boy from a Russian immigrant family, Wasserman grew up in Cleveland, worked as a movie house usher at night, and after getting his high school diploma — he never went to college — joined up with what was known as the Mayfield Road Gang, an Italian-led Mafia organization with ties to the Jewish mob — helping to run a casino.

    Moving up the career ladder in Chicago, Wasserman was recruited by founder Jules Stein who saw him as a bright boy with good ideas and made him an MCA talent agent. Stein was well-connected: his MCA was booking bands for the flashy nightclubs and crooked gambling houses run by legendary crime boss Al Capone. By then, Wasserman had taken a wife — his attorney father-in-law reportedly was a reputed Mob mouthpiece.

    In the late ’30s, Stein and Wasserman followed the adage of Horace Greeley and went west, setting up shop in the ritzy center of the entertainment industry — Beverly Hills, around the same time that the Chicago Mob was putting down roots in the movie capital.

    Of all the incredible acting talent in the MCA stable of clients, the first to ever receive a $1 million movie contract was Ronald Reagan– a deal Wasserman negotiated for him with Warner Brothers Studios in 1941.

    Wasserman apparently saw a future for Reagan far beyong the acting world. Wasserman was just 36 when Stein anointed him MCA’s president, the youngest to ever hold such a position of power. It was in the late ’40s that Wasserman saw MCA as a major player in the new technology known as television.

    In Hollywood, where all movies and their characters have an arc, Wasserman’s rise to power ended after the Justice Depatment’s organized Crime Strike Force investigation was killed. The sale of MCA went through to the Japanese for $6.5 billion in 1990. Wasserman had a role in management for a time. But when MCA was sold again to the Seagram Company in 1995 for $5.7 billion,

    Wasserman wasn’t even told. By then his power was gone.

    Posted by Swamp | June 1, 2014, 10:00 am
  2. America's eternal faith in moderates: "Mr. Dulles believed 'moderate' Nazis might 'be useful' to America" http://t.co/S8MZwpuDt8— Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) October 27, 2014

    The dream of the unicorn-riding moderate extremists is an alarmingly potent force in human affairs:

    The New York Times
    In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis

    By ERIC LICHTBLAUOCT. 26, 2014

    WASHINGTON — In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show.

    At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich.

    The agency hired one former SS officer as a spy in the 1950s, for instance, even after concluding he was probably guilty of “minor war crimes.”

    And in 1994, a lawyer with the C.I.A. pressured prosecutors to drop an investigation into an ex-spy outside Boston implicated in the Nazis’ massacre of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania, according to a government official.

    Evidence of the government’s links to Nazi spies began emerging publicly in the 1970s. But thousands of records from declassified files, Freedom of Information Act requests and other sources, together with interviews with scores of current and former government officials, show that the government’s recruitment of Nazis ran far deeper than previously known and that officials sought to conceal those ties for at least a half-century after the war.

    In 1980, F.B.I. officials refused to tell even the Justice Department’s own Nazi hunters what they knew about 16 suspected Nazis living in the United States.

    The bureau balked at a request from prosecutors for internal records on the Nazi suspects, memos show, because the 16 men had all worked as F.B.I. informants, providing leads on Communist “sympathizers.” Five of the men were still active informants.

    Refusing to turn over the records, a bureau official in a memo stressed the need for “protecting the confidentiality of such sources of information to the fullest possible extent.”

    Some spies for the United States had worked at the highest levels for the Nazis.

    One SS officer, Otto von Bolschwing, was a mentor and top aide to Adolf Eichmann, architect of the “Final Solution,” and wrote policy papers on how to terrorize Jews.

    Yet after the war, the C.I.A. not only hired him as a spy in Europe, but relocated him and his family to New York City in 1954, records show. The move was seen as a “a reward for his loyal postwar service and in view of the innocuousness of his [Nazi] party activities,” the agency wrote.

    His son, Gus von Bolschwing, who learned many years later of his father’s ties to the Nazis, sees the relationship between the spy agency and his father as one of mutual convenience forged by the Cold War.

    “They used him, and he used them,” Gus von Bolschwing, now 75, said in an interview. “It shouldn’t have happened. He never should have been admitted to the United States. It wasn’t consistent with our values as a country.”

    When Israeli agents captured Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, Otto von Bolschwing went to the C.I.A. for help because he worried they might come after him, memos show.

    Agency officials were worried as well that Mr. von Bolschwing might be named as Eichmann’s “collaborator and fellow conspirator and that the resulting publicity may prove embarrassing to the U.S.” a C.I.A. official wrote.

    After two agents met with Mr. von Bolschwing in 1961, the agency assured him it would not disclose his ties to Eichmann, records show. He lived freely for another 20 years before prosecutors discovered his wartime role and prosecuted him. He agreed to give up his citizenship in 1981, dying months later.

    In all, the American military, the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and other agencies used at least 1,000 ex-Nazis and collaborators as spies and informants after the war, according to Richard Breitman, a Holocaust scholar at American University who was on a government-appointed team that declassified war-crime records.

    The full tally of Nazis-turned-spies is probably much higher, said Norman Goda, a University of Florida historian on the declassification team, but many records remain classified even today, making a complete count impossible.

    “U.S. agencies directly or indirectly hired numerous ex-Nazi police officials and East European collaborators who were manifestly guilty of war crimes,” he said. “Information was readily available that these were compromised men.”

    None of the spies are known to be alive today.

    The wide use of Nazi spies grew out of a Cold War mentality shared by two titans of intelligence in the 1950s: Mr. Hoover, the longtime F.B.I. director, and Mr. Dulles, the C.I.A. director.

    Mr. Dulles believed “moderate” Nazis might “be useful” to America, records show. Mr. Hoover, for his part, personally approved some ex-Nazis as informants and dismissed accusations of their wartime atrocities as Soviet propaganda.

    In 1968, Mr. Hoover authorized the F.B.I. to wiretap a left-wing journalist who wrote critical stories about Nazis in America, internal records show. Mr. Hoover declared the journalist, Charles Allen, a potential threat to national security.

    John Fox, the bureau’s chief historian, said: “In hindsight, it is clear that Hoover, and by extension the F.B.I., was shortsighted in dismissing evidence of ties between recent German and East European immigrants and Nazi war crimes. It should be remembered, though, that this was at the peak of Cold War tensions.”

    The C.I.A. declined to comment for this article.

    The Nazi spies performed a range of tasks for American agencies in the 1950s and 1960s, from the hazardous to the trivial, the documents show.

    In Maryland, Army officials trained several Nazi officers in paramilitary warfare for a possible invasion of Russia. In Connecticut, the C.I.A. used an ex-Nazi guard to study Soviet-bloc postage stamps for hidden meanings.

    In Virginia, a top adviser to Hitler gave classified briefings on Soviet affairs. And in Germany, SS officers infiltrated Russian-controlled zones, laying surveillance cables and monitoring trains.

    But many Nazi spies proved inept or worse, declassified security reviews show. Some were deemed habitual liars, confidence men or embezzlers, and a few even turned out to be Soviet double agents, the records show.

    Mr. Breitman said the morality of recruiting ex-Nazis was rarely considered. “This all stemmed from a kind of panic, a fear that the Communists were terribly powerful and we had so few assets,” he said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 27, 2014, 8:50 am
  3. It’s looking like movement conservatives is experiencing a period of self discovery. Uh oh:

    TPM Cafe
    Why Conservatives Suddenly Care About Rightwing Mail-Order Scams
    By Amanda Marcotte
    Published February 18, 2015, 11:56 AM EST

    Anyone who follows the conservative movement carefully could tell you that it’s about 25 percent politics and 75 percent mail-order scam. For more than half a century now, charlatans passing themselves off as conservative leaders have exploited ordinary conservatives’ anxiety about a changing America to collect addresses and now email lists in order to sell snake oil and raise funds that followers believe are going to political causes but frequently just line the pockets of the con artists. The conservative tendency to con their own people occasionally piques the interest of the liberal media. Media Matters, for instance, has run exposes on how conservative luminaries like Mike Huckabee and Scott Brown sold their mailing lists to con artists peddling fake “cures” for Alzheimer’s and cancer. Rachel Maddow has been reporting for years on how Newt Gingrich scams money off his followers through direct mail offers of “awards” and by trying to rope them into fraudulent investments.

    But, until recently, even the more reputable conservative outlets have remained mum about their fellows’ habit of bilking their followers. Fox News even keeps bringing one of the worst offenders, Mike Huckabee, on air over and over, making it all the easier for him to earn the trust of viewers and then to sell them out to snake-oil salesmen.

    But there are signs that some of the most rigidly conservative rightwing writers out there are getting sick of it and are ready to speak out. On Tuesday, Jonah Goldberg of the National Review highlighted a report from John Hawkins of Right Wing News that exposed how many of the Tea Party-style PACs are basically taking money gullible donors think is going to elect conservative politicians and using it for basically anything but that. Ten of the 17 PACs examined by Hawkins took in more than $50 million and only spent about $3.6 million of it on campaigns. SarahPAC, run by Sarah Palin, was a typical offender, spending only $205,000 of their $3 million, or about 7 percent of the funds.

    “I doubt the average donor was under the impression that only a nickel out of every dollar he or she gave went to getting tea-party-friendly candidates elected,” Goldberg writes angrily.

    Why is there this sudden interest on the right in shining a light on the way that conservative leaders see their followers less as fellow travelers and more as marks? Part of it is likely due to a major exposé of the same problem—scam PACs—run by Politico last month. “Since the tea party burst onto the political landscape in 2009, the conservative movement has been plagued by an explosion of PACs that critics say exist mostly to pad the pockets of the consultants who run them,” Vogel wrote. That means, as Hawkins noted in his coverage, that money that might otherwise help sway elections is instead just spinning down the drain.

    But don’t start worrying that conservative leadership is growing a conscience about stealing Grandma’s Social Security check. Erick Erickson was quoted in the Politico story as saying that “[t]hese groups have the pulse of the crowd, and they recognize that they can make a profit off the angst of the conservative base voters who are looking for outsiders.” But Erickson himself is one of those people who profits off scams run, to use his own words, “by con men living well off other people’s money.” As Media Matters detailed last month, Erickson sells his email list to not just the scam PACs that Erickson criticizes, but to even sketchier charlatans. Erickson’s email list has hosted pitches that claim to have a “secret cancer cure,” that they need to stockpile food to avoid being thrown in “FEMA camps,” and trying to sell “a real and unusual retirement option that no bank will tell you about” with the alarmist claim that the government is shutting down ATMs.

    The problem is only going to become more visible in the next year or so, as Republicans gear up for another primary season. In 2012, some Republican presidential candidates such as Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich ran campaigns that seemed to be less about actually trying to win the White House and more about getting more email subscribers to hit with the fake cancer cures and fraudulent investment schemes. Already Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson have been making noise about running for president in 2016, which is just more the same: A feint whose real purpose is getting the email addresses of people gullible enough to think that Mike Huckabee is a legitimate candidate so that you can sell them survivalist gear and ineffective erectile dysfunction pills.

    It’s tempting to write off this problem, saying it’s hard to care if a bunch rightwingers are stupid enough to let Mike Huckabee con them out of their money. But just because the marks are often less than sympathetic doesn’t mean that conning them is any less deplorable. Hopefully, this willingness to talk about shady PACs suggests that conservative pundits will grow bolder about tackling the wider problem of flimflam in the ranks. The only way this problem is going to get better is if conservatives themselves start speaking out about it.

    “Hopefully, this willingness to talk about shady PACs suggests that conservative pundits will grow bolder about tackling the wider problem of flimflam in the ranks. The only way this problem is going to get better is if conservatives themselves start speaking out about it.” Yep, and it’s not just rabble’s money that’s being harvested by The Long Con. For the activist rabble, it’s also harvesting their hopes and dreams:

    Tea Party News Network staffers resign
    2/19/15 4:48 PM EST

    Staffers of the Tea Party News Network resigned on Thursday after a Daily Beast report showed how the three-year-old conservative news site fell into posting click bait smut, like videos of fights and burning cars.

    “Unfortunately the ‘coalition’ of companies and groups you collectively run has not been operating with the honor that people should be able to expect,” TeaParty.net chief strategist Dustin Stockton, operations manager Kris Hall, TPNN Social Media Director Jennifer Burke, TPNN contributor and TPNN social media specialist Matthew Burke and TPNN contributor Greg Campbell wrote in a letter to owners Todd Cefaratti and Kellen Guida, and posted by Washington Free Beacon’s CJ Ciaramella.

    “TheTeaParty.net Facebook page was built using non-profit dollars and resources and yet the hundreds of thousands of dollars a month being generated from traffic deriving from the non-profit Facebook page are being funneled to a for profit company with no transparency. Even if you could find a way to make that legal, it’s immoral and unethical,” the letter continues. “We represent ourselves as ‘The Tea Party’ on Facebook and take no action to hold ourselves to the higher standards of that designation. Posts by fights.buzz and viral.buzz have become increasingly vile and unacceptable. The Tea Party is not TMZ and TPNN is not WorldStar.”

    According to the Daily Beast, Cefaratti’s non-profit TeaParty.net which is connected to TPNN took in close to $6 million in donations in this last election cycle.

    “You regularly show contempt for the people who make all your financial success possible. The staff who work around the clock t produce timely and breaking content is regularly reminded that ‘writers are cheap,’” the staffers wrote in the letter. “The audience is regarded as unsophisticated simpletons. The activism that built all the infrastructure is considered a ‘pain in the ass’ not as an opportunity to save the country. As a group we can no longer tolerate being associated with these despicable practices. Effective immediately we resign from all positions with GlenGary and Stop This Insanity. Pleas update all websites to reflect our departure.”

    “You regularly show contempt for the people who make all your financial success possible. The staff who work around the clock t produce timely and breaking content is regularly reminded that ‘writers are cheap,’…The audience is regarded as unsophisticated simpletons.” The situation is definitely looking dicey.

    Part of what makes the crisis of confidence in The Long Con is that fact that the GOP doesn’t necessarily need its small donor money. The billionaires can handle that part just fine. But they still need the rabble to vote for The Long Con, and all those small donations are undoubtedly part of the psychological bond that keeps the activist base active and voting.

    At the same time, in a strange way the scammy nature of these networks really does helps get GOP elected. Why? Because the extreme ease with which you can apparently profit from scamming the right-wing rabble guarantees a steady stream of new con artists into the movement. So there’s also going to new grifters to replace the old ones once they get outted as a scam or grow stale. After all, one of the key sources of GOP success is a hyper-active base and the Grifter Circus makes its money by riling up the base into hyper-activity. So even though the money may not be spent on outreach, the fact that these groups are producing content that motivates people to donate is indeed a sign that they are succeeding in that key area of freaking out the base and keeping them engaged and ready for more grifting. That’s how the GOP gets out the vote and creates and army of activists…but that only works if scammy nature of it all isn’t rubbed so deeply in the faces of the rabble that they sour on the whole experience.

    One or two grifters getting outed every now and then is sustainable. But if it becomes known that pretty much the entire right-wing political infrastructure is either a billionaire front group or small-time scam outfit, all the money in the world isn’t going to help the oligarchs on election day. Demoralized rabble don’t vote.

    And other than the scams and oligarch agendas, what’s the American right-wing fighting for these days that could keep the rabble in the fold? Oh yeah. Moral values.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 21, 2015, 6:48 pm
  4. Related to this is that public opinion is being pushed in a more racist direction that substantially can lead to civic tension resulting in race war such as a version of what happened in Baltimore. The recent illegal purchase of a gun and related death caused by an illegal alien will be used to support candidates such as Bob Whitaker.

    The illegal alien murder of a young woman in San Francisco is the 1988 “Willie Horton” politicization of a sensational crime all over again. Parolees like Willie Horton do sometimes kill again. That’s an acceptable risk we are willing to take. The alternative is to grant no parole to any violent offender and to keep 5 million Americans, instead of 2.3 million, in prison indefinitely.

    Those who would blame all 11,300,000 undocumented aliens for the actions of one illegal alien, would do well to recall the notorious anti-Semitic Dreyfus case in 1880s France.

    Kristallnacht (Nov. 9, 1938) was justified by the Nazis because a single Jewish “terrorist” had assassinated the German ambassador in Paris the day before.

    See the article “Observation San Francisco shooting: a game-changer for immigration policy?”


    Posted by "Freedom Fighter" | July 11, 2015, 3:26 pm
  5. Kevin Williamson, the right-wing columnist know for such classics as calling for the execution of both the doctors that perform abortions and the women that get them and has hailed the contemporary GOP as today’s true champion of civil rights in America, had a thought brand new thought of similar caliber that he decided to share with the world in his National Review column recently: Bernie Sanders is a Nazi. Now you know:

    TPM Livewire
    National Review’s 4 Zaniest Claims For Why Bernie Sanders Is Like A Nazi

    By Caitlin MacNeal
    Published July 21, 2015, 11:52 AM EDT

    In a National Review Online piece published on Monday, conservative writer Kevin D. Williamson tried to make the point that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is currently running to be the Democratic presidential nominee, is actually a national socialist.

    Throughout the piece, Williamson suggests that Sanders’ ideologies are similar to those of the Nazis and that the senator holds racist and xenophobic beliefs. He also claims that Sanders is a ruthless politician hell-bent on destroying his competition and Americans’ freedoms.

    The piece is reminiscent of the National Review senior editor Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism,” which Goldberg described as a piece “about how contemporary progressivism is a political religion with its roots in German state theory, sharing a close family resemblance to fascism.”

    Here are some of the lowlights from Williamson’s piece titled “Bernie’s Strange Brew of Nationalism and Socialism”:

    Bernie is a national socialist, like the Nazis

    At the start of his piece, Williams references the Nazi party while introducing his thesis that Sanders is a national socialist:

    In the Bernieverse, there’s a whole lot of nationalism mixed up in the socialism. He is, in fact, leading a national-socialist movement, which is a queasy and uncomfortable thing to write about a man who is the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland and whose family was murdered in the Holocaust. But there is no other way to characterize his views and his politics.

    Sanders is similar to Hugo Chavez

    Further along in the piece, Williamson compares Sanders to deceased Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez:

    There are many kinds of Us-and-Them politics, and Bernie Sanders, to be sure, is not a national socialist in the mode of Alfred Rosenberg or Julius Streicher. He is a national socialist in the mode of Hugo Chávez. He isn’t driven by racial hatred; he’s driven by political hatred. And that’s bad enough.

    Sanders is a xenophobe and a racist

    Williamson paints Sanders as xenophobic based on the senator’s views on trade policy and China:

    The incessant reliance on xenophobic (and largely untrue) tropes holding that the current economic woes of the United States are the result of scheming foreigners, especially the wicked Chinese, “stealing our jobs” and victimizing his class allies is nothing more than an updated version of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s “yellow peril” rhetoric, and though the kaiser had a more poetical imagination — he said he had a vision of the Buddha riding a dragon across Europe, laying waste to all — Bernie’s take is substantially similar. He describes the normalization of trade relations with China as “catastrophic” — Sanders and Jesse Helms both voted against the Clinton-backed China-trade legislation — and heaps scorn on every other trade-liberalization pact. That economic interactions with foreigners are inherently hurtful and exploitative is central to his view of how the world works.

    The conservative writer continued to rail against Sanders’ views on trade, accusing the presidential candidate of being racist:

    Like most of these advocates of “economic patriotism” (Barack Obama’s once-favored phrase) Bernie worries a great deal about trade with brown people — Asians, Latin Americans — but has never, so far as public records show, made so much as a peep about our very large trade deficit with Sweden, which as a share of bilateral trade volume is not much different from our trade deficit with China, or about the size of our trade deficit with Canada, our largest trading partner. Sanders doesn’t rail about the Canadians and Germans stealing our jobs — his ire is reserved almost exclusively for the Chinese and the Latin Americans …

    Bernie wants to criminalize political dissent

    After establishing that Sanders harbors racist beliefs, Williamson moved on to paint the senator as a ruthless leader ready to “stifle his enemies’ ability to participate in the political process”:

    And criminalizing things is very much on Bernie’s agenda, beginning with the criminalization of political dissent. At every event he swears to introduce a constitutional amendment reversing Supreme Court decisions that affirmed the free-speech protections of people and organizations filming documentaries, organizing Web campaigns, and airing television commercials in the hopes of influencing elections or public attitudes toward public issues. That this would amount to a repeal of the First Amendment does not trouble Bernie at all. If the First Amendment enables Them, then the First Amendment has got to go.

    Following criticism that Williamson compared Sanders to Nazis in his Monday piece, the National Review writer defended the article and claimed that he did not intentionally paint Sanders as a Nazi.

    Well, this would be a clear case of Godwin’s Law if Williamson didn’t proceed to deny what he just did.

    No, something else just happened: Godwin’s Allusion Elusion strikes again.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 21, 2015, 3:00 pm
  6. With nearly two-thirds of likely GOP voters responding positively to Donald Trump’s proposed ban on all Muslims entering the US, it’s probably not too soon to engage in the following analysis

    Talking Points Memo
    Editor’s Blog
    Know Your Fascist Dictators

    By Josh Marshall
    Published December 9, 2015, 9:45 AM EST

    As long as we’re on to the subject of fascist dictators and Donald Trump is now being being compared to Adolf Hitler in major urban newspapers, I thought I should speak up on behalf of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini as the true proto-Trump.

    Mussolini wasn’t just a fascist dictator. He was the fascist dictator. Indeed, he’s the only fascist dictator. As I noted a few days ago, “fascism” – for mainly decent reasons – became a catch-all phrase used to refer to various rightist authoritarian movements and regimes, in some cases explicitly drawing inspiration from each other, of the first half of the 20th century. Later the term evolved into an ever vaguer phrase which highly agitated people on the far left and far right used to yell at people about. But fascism was a specifically Italian political movement. And Mussolini was its creator and leader.

    Mussolini never really held a candle to Adolf Hitler in terms of barbarity and killing. Indeed, after consolidating power through a mix of constitutional revisions, extra-legal violence and secret police, Mussolini made some effort to rebrand himself as a respectable world statesman in the late 20s and early 30s, going in for suits rather than paramilitary uniforms. (Later, for a mix of reasons including the economic challenges of the Great Depression and the rise of Adolf Hitler he swerved back in the other direction.) But what really makes the Trump comparison in my mind is the mix of personal manner, cynicism and narcissism.

    We’ve all seen the videos of Adolf Hitler’s speeches. To many Germans at the time, his speeches were simply spellbinding and irresistible. Eighty years later, living in a different era and with full knowledge of what was to come, they seem a mix of chilling, bizarre or demonic. But they are undeniably intense, physical and driven by some chilling but powerful and ravenous internal energy. While Mussolini provided many of the models for Nazi regime (color-shirted paramilitaries, various trappings of power and even the title of ‘leader’) he was an altogether different character.

    Mussolini’s speeches have a mix of melodramatic chest-puffing, hands at the waist swagger, hints of humor, hands to the crowd to calm themselves no matter how excited they are. Frankly, they’re almost operatic in nature. The mix of violent rhetoric with folksy hypotheticals and humorous jabs unites the two men quite nicely.

    The problem of course is that Trump has trended in an increasingly racist and xenophobic direction as his campaign has gone on. But that was never really Mussolini’s thing. The Nazi fetishization of race was basically foreign to fascist ideology. And Italian fascism was not at all anti-Semitic … except after 1938. That’s when Mussolini moved into full alliance with Nazi Germany, a movement he had once seen as a protege and then a rival, and remade much of his movement (which had by then been in power for fifteen years) on the Nazi model, importing its own version of Nazi anti-Semitic laws and various new racialist policies. Mussolini’s regime was explicitly anti-Semitic from 1938 to its fall in 1943, though there’s a fair of amount of historical debate about how actively it pursued those policies. When he nominally ruled a Nazi puppet state in Northern Italy after the collapse of the fascist regime, the Final Solution was given full rein.

    In other words, Mussolini’s embrace of racism and anti-Semitism appears to have been cynical and opportunistic. But this works as an analog to Trump since I continue to believe that Trump’s embrace of racism, anti-Mexican immigrant bigotry and Islamophobia is largely opportunistic. My only hesitation in calling it cynical is that I think Trump may be the type who once he finds something convenient to say, he then starts to believe it. Once Trump says something it carries the Trump brand. And to Trump everything with the Trump brand is right and amazing. So possibly his mix of arrogance and narcissism, by an alchemical process, make it genuine rather than cynical. I’m out of my depth in analyzing that particular question. But however that may be, let’s look to Mussolini as our Trump progenitor of choice.

    “In other words, Mussolini’s embrace of racism and anti-Semitism appears to have been cynical and opportunistic. But this works as an analog to Trump since I continue to believe that Trump’s embrace of racism, anti-Mexican immigrant bigotry and Islamophobia is largely opportunistic. My only hesitation in calling it cynical is that I think Trump may be the type who once he finds something convenient to say, he then starts to believe it. Once Trump says something it carries the Trump brand. And to Trump everything with the Trump brand is right and amazing. So possibly his mix of arrogance and narcissism, by an alchemical process, make it genuine rather than cynical. I’m out of my depth in analyzing that particular question. But however that may be, let’s look to Mussolini as our Trump progenitor of choice.”

    Did Donald Trump start out an opportunist who, due to some sort of narcissistic personality defect, came to actually believing his own opportunistically chosen rhetoric? Seems possible.

    Then again, if we listen to Jeb Bush, Trump’s entire candidacy is in reality a pro-Hillary Clinton giant psyop, and while that seems highly unlikely all things considered, you gotta dream.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 9, 2015, 3:58 pm
  7. @Pterrafractyl–

    Noteworthy in this context is the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood–parent of al-Qaeda, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and ISIS enjoy the favor they enjoy in the transnational corporate community because of their “corporatist” economics.

    This was precisely the foundation of their adoration of, and support for, Mussolini.

    The utility of Islamists as proxy warriors against Russia and China is obviously important and of immediate relevance.

    However, going forward, for all the rhetoric about ISIS, banning Muslims from the U.S., nuking Islamists to see if sand glows (Ted Cruz’s latest), the transnationals and their associated political luminaries and elites want to see the Arab and Muslim world (upwards of a billion people) manifesting economic governance that corresponds to the doctrines of M’u Sah-lini and his Corporate State.



    Posted by Dave Emory | December 9, 2015, 5:24 pm
  8. @Dave: Along those line, it’s going to be interesting to see what Donald Trump has to say to reporters should they start bringing up his extensive investments in the Middle East and all the praise he’s has for slave-wage paradises like Dubai:

    I Confronted Donald Trump in Dubai

    June 2, 2014

    By Molly Crabapple

    Donald Trump’s hair should not be.

    It sits on his head like a soufflé, both airy and solid, as improbable as any building to which he’s given his name. In Dubai, I get to inspect Trump from all angles. His hair is otherworldly, but his face is more easily dissected. It’s tangerine, save two pale circles around his eyes.

    Ivanka looks perfect, however. Even when her mouth is a moue of hate.

    I am sitting two scant yards from Trump père et fille at a media briefing for the Trump International Golf Course, which is being built by the Emirati firm DAMAC Properties in conjunction with Donald Trump Townhouses and Villas. Trump has promised it will be the greatest golf course in the world.

    Ivanka is angry because I asked a real question. In Dubai, this can land you in jail.


    This May, I researched labor issues in the United Arab Emirates. I interviewed construction workers building museums on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island. In the richest city in the world, the workers we spoke to were little more than indentured servants. For between $150 and $300 a month, they worked 13 hours a day, six days a week. Their bosses kept their passports. They landed in the UAE owing more than a year’s salary to recruiters back home. They could be deported for striking.

    In Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, they had families dependent on their wages. However brutal it was, the Gulf dream was their one shot out of poverty. They could not fu ck this up.

    The UAE is not uniquely guilty. Migrants throughout the world, in the US as well as the UAE, do the worst work and suffer the worst state violence. While my research focused on Abu Dhabi, poor conditions are typical throughout the Gulf. Thousands of workers could die building the World Cup stadia in Qatar. Figurative blood stains the gleaming steel of Earth’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

    The day before Trump’s press conference, A source interviewed workers building the luxury villas bearing Trump’s name. They told him they made less than $200 a month.


    These workers would never bask in the air conditioning with me in the AKOYA by DAMAC Sales Center. Like so many of Dubai’s interiors, the sales center is as cold and shining as top-shelf gin. TVs play ads for Trump’s villas. On screen, white women plunge into swimming pools. Their hair billows in vast bedrooms. These villas are dreams for the world’s winners. Like the construction workers who built them, they are placeless. They could be anywhere. Capital is context free.

    “Who are you here for?” one of the publicists asks me.


    The publicist asks how I know about the event. I say I heard about it from a friend.

    “Behave yourself,” he smiles. “Don’t embarrass them.”

    At this type of party, I always tell myself I won’t eat the food. Journalists are either shills or situational sociopaths. When you cover the powerful, they serve great canapés. The powerful can seem so nice. Your lizard brain tells you to be nice back. But to be nice is to sell out those workers sweating it out for $200 a month.

    I swipe a flute of orange juice.

    Trump enters with Ivanka and DAMAC CEO Hussain Sajwani. Cameramen bash into one another to film them. Trump is little more than a moving statue to be sucked into their devices. He gives a practiced thumbs up.

    On stage, Trump praises his Dubai. He is effusive—and sincere. Trump is one sort of Westerner who loves the UAE. They find here a throwback to colonialism’s heyday. No matter how much you’ve shat the bed at home, here your whiteness will get you a job, money, servants from the Global South. Help is so affordable when migrant workers make $200 a month. In police states, there is little crime.

    “The world has so many problems and so many failures, and you come here and it’s so beautiful,” Trump says. “Why can’t we have that in New York?”

    Trump does not mention that, like Dubai, New York is morphing into the no-place of multi-national capitalism. He does not mention that this is partially his fault.

    The floor opens to questions.

    I stand up.

    “Mr. Trump,” I ask, “the workers who build your villas make less than $200 a month. Are you satisfied?”

    The room gasps, then goes silent. The security tenses towards me. In two hours I am scheduled to interview Ahmed Mansoor, who spent eight months in jail for signing a pro-democracy petition. I think about Nick McGeehan, a researcher from Human Rights Watch who was deported a few months ago for investigating the same migrant issues I am.

    I think about the web of professional coercion that keeps journalists in the US from asking real questions at press conferences. I wonder if the rules in Dubai are the same.

    Trump says nothing.

    “That’s not an appropriate question,” the publicist barks.

    When the next journalist says, “Dubai is synonymous with the big, bold, and beautiful,” the room un-tenses. “Is that where your affinity comes from?” the journalist asks.

    “I think Dubai has a tremendous future,” Trump replies.


    The security guards are still staring a hole into me when we file out. “Nice question,” says one reporter from a local newspaper.

    “Why didn’t you ask him something like that?” I ask.

    “It’s just not done here. You don’t do it because you know you won’t get an answer.”

    Implied: I live here. I might suffer consequences. You’re leaving in a few days. It thrills the soul to confront powerful bastards, but does that alone change anything? The whole Gulf is built on exploitation. Local journalists must be canny and patient, applauding small improvements as they come.

    “The world has so many problems and so many failures, and you come here and it’s so beautiful…Why can’t we have that in New York?”
    And that was in reference to Dubai, where Sharia law is the law.

    So now we get to see how soon Trump makes any more trips back to Dubai or any of the other many Muslim countries that he’s invested in. The new Trump International Golf Club in Dubai scheduled to be finished next year and presumably there’s going to be some sort grand opening celebration. His business partners there sure seem to be taking this latest Trumptroversy in stride.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 9, 2015, 6:26 pm
  9. It looks like Donald Trump’s business partners in Dubai who were initially standing by him following outrage across the Middle East over Trump’s “ban all Muslims from entering the US” proposal have decided that their own business self-intererests trump pleasing Trump:

    Trump’s Dubai real estate partner strips his image, name from luxury golf project site

    Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:04pm EST


    A Dubai real estate firm building a $6 billion golf complex with Donald Trump on Thursday stripped the property of his name and image amid a backlash over the U.S. presidential candidate’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

    DAMAC Properties had initially said it would stand by Trump, even as another of the billionaire’ s Middle East partners, the Lifestyle chain of department stores, halted sales of his “Trump Home” line on Wednesday in protest at his comments.

    A spokesman for DAMAC Properties, Niall McLoughlin, declined to comment on why Trump’s image had been removed from a billboard outside the project construction site, along with that of his daughter, Ivanka Trump.

    The AKOYA by DAMAC project will include a Trump-branded golf course, gated island community and spa. Trump is also building a second golf course, the Tiger Woods-designed Trump World Golf Club, at another DAMAC property in Dubai, AKOYA Oxygen.

    An advertising billboard outside the AKOYA by DAMAC development had shown Trump in a red hat swinging a golf club against a backdrop of a lush green golf course.

    By Thursday, the image had gone, a Reuters photographer said.

    An adjacent photo of Trump’s daughter Ivanka, an executive vice president for his Trump Organization firm, was also removed from the billboard.

    Gold letters spelling out “Trump International Gold Club,” affixed to a landscaped stone wall at the entrance to the project site, were also removed later in the day, according to the Reuters photographer.

    Trump on Thursday postponed a planned trip to Israel amid the global backlash over his proposal. Israeli politicians and more than 370,000 Britons urged their governments on Wednesday to bar Donald Trump from their countries.

    “A spokesman for DAMAC Properties, Niall McLoughlin, declined to comment on why Trump’s image had been removed from a billboard outside the project construction site, along with that of his daughter, Ivanka Trump.”
    Who knows why they did what they did? What a mystery.

    But DAMAC Properties wasn’t the only entity to suddenly decide to disassociate themselves with The Donald in recent days, although unlike DAMAC Properties, who is presumably a somewhat innocent bystander in all this (if you ignore its abusive labor policies), this other entity wasn’t a victim of guilt by association but rather guilt by alarming resemblence:

    Donald Trump has gone too far for French far-right leader Marine Le Pen

    Updated by Matthew Yglesias on December 11, 2015, 10:40 a.m. ET

    Donald Trump has been frequently compared (including by me) to “far-right” populist movements in Europe. Indeed, scholarly experts on fascism say that this — rather than fascism — is the correct comparison to make about Trump.

    But as David Kirkpatrick writes in the New York Times, Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s very successful populist right party Front National, actually thinks Trump has gone too far:

    Mr. Trump on Monday evoked comparisons to Ms. Le Pen and her European counterparts with his call to close American borders to all Muslims “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”

    Ms. Le Pen said that was too much for her, perhaps in part because she feared jeopardizing the progress she had made in shedding her party’s previous image as racist and anti-Semitic.

    “Seriously, have you ever heard me say something like that?” she asked on Thursday when questioned about Mr. Trump’s comments during a television interview. “I defend all the French people in France, regardless of their origin, regardless of their religion.”

    You are seeing here the basic difference between a legitimate professional politician who happens to run an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim party, and a reality television star. Proposing formal discrimination on religious grounds just doesn’t fly under the French constitution any more than it does under the American Constitution. The way you’re supposed to play the game is with formally neutral policy initiatives — something like a ban on Syrian refugees or on wearing religious attire in school — that happen to target Muslim populations. Trump’s more straightforward bombast is getting him headlines, but it’s making trouble for fundamentally like-minded people elsewhere.

    “You are seeing here the basic difference between a legitimate professional politician who happens to run an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim party, and a reality television star.”
    It must be hard being a professional far-right politicians who has spent years trying to whitewash away decades of xenophobia into a mere dog whistles only to see some rabble rousing reality TV star grab global headlines and then proceed to drop not only his mask but the masks of profession far-right politicians everywhere. Poor Marine. But at least she’s not alone. Plenty of others no doubt feel her pain.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 11, 2015, 7:30 pm
  10. The Washington Post had a recent piece on the frantic search among evangelical leaders to find an alternative to Donald Trump who, in a recent Quinnipiac poll, was tied with Ted Cruz, at 24 percent, among white evangelical registered Republicans (Ben Carson got 19 percent). And just who are these leaders starting to coalesce behind in an attempt to prevent Trump’s toxicity from poisoning the GOP’s brand more than it already is? They’re getting behind the one candidate that’s basically as toxic as Trump on all policy position and possibly even more toxic:

    The Washington Post
    Evangelical leaders are frantically looking for ways to defeat Donald Trump

    By Sarah Pulliam Bailey
    December 10

    Evangelical leaders are signaling an urgency to find someone other than businessman Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination, releasing endorsements and talking behind closed doors.

    Evangelical voters, who are an important voting bloc for the Republican Party and are not easily led by their leaders, are all over the map in polls leading up to the primaries in key states. And many evangelical leaders are struggling to coalesce around one candidate who they believe could beat Trump.

    The Republican field is full of candidates who could appeal to evangelicals because of their social conservative positions, including Ben Carson, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee or former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. But interviews with several evangelical insiders this week suggest that leaders are debating whether to support Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) or Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.).

    The latest national poll by Quinnipiac University had Trump tied with Cruz for first, at 24 percent, among white evangelical registered Republican voters. The poll, done Nov. 23-30, has Carson at 19 percent and everyone else with 4 percent or less.

    However in Iowa, where evangelicals can have the biggest early impact, evangelical voters are moving behind Cruz. According to a Monmouth University survey released Monday, Cruz has 30 percent support from Iowa evangelicals, followed by Trump (18 percent), Rubio (16 percent) and Carson (15 percent).

    There are no representative surveys of all evangelical leaders, but informal indicators suggest little support for Trump among elites. Rubio led an October survey of board members of the National Association of Evangelicals asking which candidate they support — including Democratic candidates. Rubio also led an informal survey of 103 evangelical leaders and “insiders” by WORLD magazine, with Cruz and Carly Fiorina also receiving support. Only 1 percent picked Trump.

    Cruz has also seen a handful of high-profile endorsements and is expected to win among evangelical voters in Iowa. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and an influential leader among some evangelicals, told The Washington Post that he is endorsing Cruz.

    “It does appear that evangelical [voters] are coalescing around Senator Cruz, along with several other coalitions within the Republican field,” Dobson said in an email. “While things can change over time, right now Senator Cruz’s strong record on religious liberty, life and marriage seems to be steadily attracting evangelical voters — a trend I don’t see ending any time soon.”

    Dobson said that although he is friends with candidates such as Huckabee, he believes Cruz is the right choice because he is “brilliant, articulate, and well established in his moral and spiritual convictions.”

    “I am very wary of Donald Trump,” Dobson said in his email, citing Trump’s business in gambling. “I would never vote for a king pin within that enterprise. Trump’s tendency to shoot from the hip and attack those with whom he disagrees would be an embarrassment to the nation if he should become our Chief Executive. I don’t really believe Trump is a conservative. Finally, I would never under any circumstance vote for Hillary Clinton.”

    Dobson’s position characterizes the point of view of many evangelical leaders who are seeking ways to defeat Trump. Many dislike his involvement in gambling and are uncomfortable with his statements. For instance, some leaders cited his reported comments about his daughter’s figure, including: “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

    The sense of urgency among many evangelical leaders to defeat Trump became clear this week after he proposed that Muslims be temporarily halted from immigrating to the United States.

    Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said Trump’s comments this week “provided a sense of clarity” and sparked a backlash among evangelicals.

    “Anyone who is familiar with the First Amendment and basic rights of due process in this country would revolt at the idea of what Trump was proposing,” Moore said.

    Moore, who said he will not endorse a candidate, believes that evangelical leaders and voters are keeping an open mind but that many assumed that Trump would be out of the race by now.

    “It’s suddenly becoming serious for a lot of people,” Moore said. “I know evangelicals and others who laughed along the Trump clownishness in the summer and into the fall who are now taking this seriously because they can’t believe this is happening in our country.”

    Not all evangelical leaders were opposed to Trump’s remarks. Famed evangelist Billy Graham’s son Franklin Graham has been urging a halt on Muslim immigration since this summer and reiterated his support for the idea in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “Politicians in Washington seem to be totally disconnected with reality,” he said after House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized Trump.

    Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, has yet to endorse a candidate. He declined to speak about a group of conservatives he has convened behind closed doors and said he is still weighing the presidential field. But he said Trump has tapped into the fear that people have over security.

    “I give Donald Trump a lot more credit than some do. I don’t think he misspeaks as much as people think,” Perkins said. “I think in this age of political correctness, in which people refuse to speak with clarity, he is seen as very attractive. I think it’s a mistake to write off Donald Trump. He has tapped something that’s very real across the spectrum, including [among] evangelicals.”

    Perkins said a congressional measure that would limit Syrian refugees is “a reasonable approach,” but he added that “I would not talk about it in a way that we should prohibit people of any particular religion.” He said Trump’s comments about Muslims were too broad.

    “There are many people in parts of the world who are born into Muslim families, but they don’t necessarily hold to the faith. It’s not a religious test. It’s an ideological test,” Perkins said. “I would avoid making sweeping statements about what our policy should be for a particular class or set of people.”

    Evangelicals make up the largest religious group in the country, and they heavily lean Republican. Nearly 70 percent of white evangelicals either identify as Republicans or lean Republican, while 22 percent affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic, according to the Pew Research Center.

    Santorum and Huckabee have drawn support from social conservative evangelicals in the past, but this time around, evangelical leaders have been especially divided over which candidate to support.

    “The key is, will evangelicals find a candidate that most of them can agree on?” said John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron. “If they all united behind a particular candidate, it would make it difficult for Trump to win.”

    Ohio conservative leader Phil Burress said leaders in his coalition are still deciding whom they will endorse, but he believes there’s a 95 percent chance that they will go with Cruz.

    “We’re scared to death right now. This administration is letting these radical Muslims into the country,” Burress said. “This isn’t a war on terrorism. This is a war against radical Islam. We need someone to speak plainly and clearly, and the president refuses to do that. Ted Cruz will call it what it is.”

    But Burress also supports Rubio and would back him if he became a front-runner. Some believe Rubio could pull ahead if other leaders drop out of the race, but tea party-leaning evangelicals are nervous about his past work on immigration reform.

    Many leaders believe Cruz has a chance to beat Trump, since he has raised the most money after former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Burress said leaders are especially eager to find a way to defeat Trump.

    “He is scary. He’ll lead us into World War III in a heartbeat,” Burress said. “He thinks he’s such a great negotiator, but he’s a bully.”

    John Stemberger, president of Florida Family Action, has yet to back a candidate and said Cruz has the advantage of receiving support from influential leaders in Texas.

    “Cruz is fearless. He is undaunted by confrontation. He is willing to take very unpopular positions and stand alone if necessary,” Stemberger said. “Rubio has an almost identical voting record. He’s extremely winsome, the finest communicator in American politics today.”

    The National Organization for Marriage, a group that believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, announced its support for Cruz on Wednesday. “Unless conservatives come together behind a full-spectrum candidate — pro-marriage, pro-life, strong national defense, etc. — there is a real risk that someone like Donald Trump could win the nomination, which would be disastrous,” the group said in a statement.

    Richard Viguerie, chairman of Conservative Headquarters and a pioneer in political direct mail, which has been effective with evangelical voters in the past, urged voters to support Cruz, asking on Wednesday:: “What are we conservatives waiting for?”

    “Along with Ted Cruz’s talent and zest for political combat, and consistent record of supporting conservative policy solutions, goes a methodical self-discipline and self-control that distinguish him from the longtime front runner who has been the other message-carrier for the conservative grassroots and their demand for change in Washington — Donald Trump,” Viguerie wrote.

    “Along with Ted Cruz’s talent and zest for political combat, and consistent record of supporting conservative policy solutions, goes a methodical self-discipline and self-control that distinguish him from the longtime front runner who has been the other message-carrier for the conservative grassroots and their demand for change in Washington — Donald Trump.”
    Those are the words of Richard Viguerie, one of the most influential conservative strategists for the past half a century and a key figure in the rise of the New Right. And as we just saw, his pro-Cruz sentiments appear to be shared by a growing number of conservative evangelical leaders. It all raises the obvious question of why a Ted Cruz nomination isn’t also going to be a nightmare for the GOP:

    The Hill
    Nightmare scenario for establishment: Trump or Cruz

    By Niall Stanage – 12/10/15 06:05 AM EST

    Three candidates for the Republican nomination have broken away from the rest of the pack, and two of them — businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — give the GOP establishment nightmares.

    That leaves the third member of the trio, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, potentially well placed to pick up the support of center-right Republican voters who are looking for someone to stop Trump and Cruz at almost any cost.

    But Rubio is behind both of his top-tier rivals in national polling averages and is even further back in Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation caucuses, where he holds fourth place, albeit behind the fast-fading Ben Carson.

    An even deeper problem for the Florida senator is that other candidates who are competing for the same voters are unlikely to drop out before the New Hampshire primary. That means votes that might otherwise go to Rubio could instead be won by contenders such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

    Add all these factors together and it becomes clear why establishment Republicans are so concerned, especially in the wake of Trump’s inflammatory call to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Cruz, meanwhile, has been enjoying a rapid rise in the polls.

    “Listen, I think both Cruz and Trump would have a similar impact on the party, neither of which would be very good. I am actually more concerned about Cruz than I am about Trump,” said GOP strategist John Feehery, a former senior leadership aide who is a columnist for The Hill.

    Feehery added, “I think Cruz has made a reputation of relentless mendacity … I think he’s a demagogue and I think he’ll destroy the party. I think Trump is much more of a blowhard. But there’s not really a dime’s worth of difference between Trump and Cruz.”

    As of Wednesday afternoon, Trump sat atop the RealClearPolitics national polling average, with the backing of 29.3 percent of GOP voters, with Cruz in second, at 15.5 percent. Rubio was just behind, with 14.8 percent. In Iowa, where the first caucuses will be held on Feb. 1, Cruz runs much closer, with 22.3 percent average support to Trump’s 25.7 percent. Rubio is farther behind in the Hawkeye State than nationally, drawing 13.7 percent backing.

    Trump’s comments calling for a “shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S. have been condemned by many Republicans, as well as Democrats and unaligned observers. Included among his critics are Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who both lambasted him on Tuesday. The condemnation of a party’s presidential front-runner by that same party’s most senior members of Congress is without precedent, at least in modern times.

    The opprobrium from on high will not necessarily doom Trump. A Bloomberg Politics poll released Wednesday indicated that 64 percent of likely Republican primary voters supported the idea of temporarily banning Muslims from coming to America.

    But Washington Republicans shake their heads at the damage they believe the real estate tycoon is inflicting on the party’s image. They are also enraged about his suggestion that he could mount a third-party run if he is not treated in a way that he deems fair during the GOP primary process.

    “Donald Trump says he might make a third-party run if he is mistreated by the party, but Donald Trump has severely mistreated the Republican Party with his outlandish and over-the-top statements against Hispanics, women and now against religion in terms of Muslims,” said Ron Bonjean, a GOP consultant and former aide to House and Senate Republican leaders.

    Bonjean expressed less outrage about Cruz personally, but just as much skepticism about his chances of prevailing in a general election.

    Alluding to reports that Cruz and his advisers believe he can win the White House by boosting enthusiasm and turnout solely among the conservative base, Bonjean said, “If Cruz would follow through on his promise not to court the middle, we would lose the general election.”

    The Cruz camp has also made the case it can win over “Reagan Democrats” in the general election, though some Republicans are skeptical.

    All of the GOP establishment angst could be good news for Rubio. The fact that he has now achieved a degree of separation from other establishment-friendly choices such as Bush, Kasich and Christie could create a snowball effect where more voters are drawn to his banner.

    Centrist Republicans believe the party needs to act soon in order to defeat Trump and Cruz.

    “There needs to be a consolidation of candidates that attract white-collar and establishment voters, and that will compete for the nomination,” said Bonjean. “At this point, you are seeing some movement in the establishment toward Rubio — a little bit. It feels like a plate-shifting is happening.”

    “If Cruz would follow through on his promise not to court the middle, we would lose the general election.”
    Yep, Ted Cruz’s promise to his supporters is that he his attempt to appeal the broader American electorate is basically to be Ted Cruz and assume that the nation will be super inspired by that. Not surprisingly, some GOP analysts that aren’t part and parcel of the evangelical right aren’t so sure about that:

    “Listen, I think both Cruz and Trump would have a similar impact on the party, neither of which would be very good. I am actually more concerned about Cruz than I am about Trump,” said GOP strategist John Feehery, a former senior leadership aide who is a columnist for The Hill.

    Feehery added, “I think Cruz has made a reputation of relentless mendacity … I think he’s a demagogue and I think he’ll destroy the party. I think Trump is much more of a blowhard. But there’s not really a dime’s worth of difference between Trump and Cruz.”

    So not only is the GOP “establishment” apparently freaking out about the prospect of a Trump nomination, but the evangelical “establishment” is too and yet the evangelical’s Trump-ternative of choice is the guy that freaks out “establishment” analysts like John Feehery even more than Trump.

    Given all that, it’s going to be very interesting to see if the GOP “establishment” adopts an “anyone but Trump or Cruz” attitude in coming months and what impact that’s going to have on the prospect of Trump actually following through on his threat to wage a third party bid. And why might an anti-Cruz campaign by the “establishment” impact the likelihood of a Trump third party bid? Well, keep in mind that the above piece was about conservative evangelical leaders and also keep in mind what we saw above: the evangelical voters love both Trump and Cruz more than anyone else:

    The latest national poll by Quinnipiac University had Trump tied with Cruz for first, at 24 percent, among white evangelical registered Republican voters. The poll, done Nov. 23-30, has Carson at 19 percent and everyone else with 4 percent or less.

    So what’s going to happen if the “establishment” wages an open campaign against not just the current GOP front runner but also the guy surging into second place national and who just took a significant lead over Trump in the most recently Iowa poll? Isn’t that exactly the kind of behavior by the “establishment” that makes “anti-establishment” behavior like voting third-party far more likely? Trump will surely be be well aware of the growing antipathy towards the “establishment”, so won’t an anti-Trump/Cruz campaign make a third party Trump bid significantly more likely?

    And if he does make that third party bid following a joint “anyone but Trump or Cruz” campaign by the establishment, you have to wonder who he’ll try to enlist as his running mate.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 12, 2015, 7:02 pm
  11. French far-right leader Le Pen calls on Europeans to ‘wake up’

    KOBLENZ, Germany French far-right leader Marine Le Pen urged European voters to follow the example of Americans and the British and “wake up” in 2017, at a meeting of right-wing leaders aiming to oust established parties in elections this year.

    Le Pen told several hundred supporters in the German city of Koblenz that Britons’ vote last year to leave the European Union would set in train a “domino effect”.

    A day after U.S. President Donald Trump took office, Le Pen said his inauguration speech included “accents in common” with the message on reclaiming national sovereignty proclaimed by the far-right leaders meeting in Koblenz.

    “2016 was the year the Anglo-Saxon world woke up. I am sure 2017 will be the year the people of continental Europe wake up,” she said to loud applause on Saturday.

    Populist parties are on the rise across Europe. Unemployment and austerity, the arrival of record numbers of refugees and militant attacks in France, Belgium and Germany have left voters disillusioned with conventional parties.

    Le Pen, head of the anti-European Union, anti-immigrant National Front (FN) and seen by pollsters as highly likely to make a two-person runoff vote for the French presidency in May, has marked out Europe as a major plank in her programme.

    “The key factor that is going to set in course all the dominos of Europe is Brexit,” Le Pen said. “A sovereign people chose … to decide its destiny itself.”

    Of Trump, she added: “His position on Europe is clear: he does not support a system of oppression of peoples.”

    In a joint interview with the Times of London and the German newspaper Bild published on Monday, Trump said the EU had become “a vehicle for Germany” and predicted that more EU member states would vote to leave the bloc, as Britain did last June.

    Le Pen said if elected she would ask the EU to return sovereign powers to France and hold a referendum on the outcome of negotiations she expected to follow. If the EU rejected her demands, she said: “I will suggest to the French people: exit!”


    The far-right leaders met under the slogan “Freedom for Europe” with the aim of strengthening ties between their parties, whose nationalist tendencies have hampered close collaboration in the past.

    “Together with the parties represented here, we want a subsidiary Europe of free Fatherlands,” said Frauke Petry, leader of Germany’s anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD).

    Several leading German media were barred from the Koblenz meeting, which was organised by the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF), the smallest group in the European Parliament.

    Also at the meeting were Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch far-right Freedom Party (PVV), who was last month convicted of discrimination against Moroccans, and Matteo Salvini of the Northern League, who wants to take Italy out of the euro.

    In the Netherlands, Wilders is leading in all major polls before national parliamentary elections on March 15. Hailing Trump’s election, Wilders told the meeting: “Yesterday, a free America, today Koblenz, and tomorrow a new Europe.”

    “The genie will not go back into the bottle,” he added.

    Sigmar Gabriel, the leader of Germany’s Social Democrats, junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition, joined a protest outside the venue. Police said the demonstration was peaceful and about 5,000 people took part.

    Posted by Lam | January 21, 2017, 9:39 am

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