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Published: Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:43:08 +0000

Last Build Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:43:08 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
 



Trump tweets bigoted and debunked pig's blood story as solution for terrorism

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:23:51 +0000

In a week when you thought Donald Trump had reached maximum offensiveness, he proved there’s always a little more disgusting to be had—even if it takes going to white nationalist fantastyland to find it.

x

What is Trump talking about? He’s going back to a story he told during the campaign.

After the war, Pershing served as governor of the heavily Muslim Moro Province between 1909 and 1913. This period was notable for its continuing insurgencies.

"They were having terrorism problems, just like we do," Trump said, according to an account in the Washington Post. "And he caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people. And he took the 50 terrorists, and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pigs’ blood — you heard that, right? He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs’ blood. And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said: You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem. Okay? Twenty-five years, there wasn’t a problem."

Twenty-five years. Thirty-five years. It doesn’t really matter because the whole damn story is a lie. It never happened. Similar stories have been told about other military leaders, and those details vary, the thing they all seem to have in common is that they’re not true. But Trump’s hate for people not like him? That’s all too real.

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Midday open thread: Driver sues Uber over no-firearms rule; Houston green policy misses some people

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:01:06 +0000

Today’s comic by Ruben Bolling is The true, top-secret story behind Trump's North Korea conflict:  • Well, better late than never. Ex-RNC spokesman say he can’t urge people of color to vote for Trump: Ya think?  Former Republican National Committee (RNC) communications director Douglas Heye on Wednesday said President Trump's remarks about the violence in Charlottesville, Va., make it difficult to make the case that minorities should vote for GOP candidates. "After that Trump press conference, I don't know how I can tell any minority why they should vote Republican," Heye said. • • An Activists’ Calendar of Resistance Events • Indivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups • While Houston touts its green transformation, one neighborhood left out. Would it surprise you to know that the divide is racial and economic?  The toxic tour sometimes concludes in the neighborhood of Manchester, a six-square-mile grid of streets where the petrochemical industry towers directly over small homes. Where, according to EPA databases, Valero Refining can produce up to 160,000 barrels a day of gasoline and other fuels. Where the Ship Channel Bridge, one of the busiest stretches of Interstate 610, carries tens of thousands of vehicles per day (along with their emissions) directly over homes. And where about 4,000 people live — more than 95 percent of whom are people of color, and 90 percent low income. • xEconomist cover this week. pic.twitter.com/7IJ24Ycmfj— Piotr Zalewski (@p_zalewski) August 17, 2017 • Father and son first responders on 9/11 die of cancer within a year of each other: On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Robert Alexander and his father, Raymond, both had the day off — until two airliners crashed into the World Trade Center towers. Raymond Alexander, a New York City firefighter, immediately reported to his firehouse in the Bronx as his son, a New York Police Department officer, headed to his precinct in East Harlem. Then, along with thousands of first responders, the father and son rushed to Lower Manhattan, where ash and debris rained onto the streets. [...] In November 2016, Raymond Alexander died at the age of 76 after battling seven different types of cancer over 13 years, a disease his family says was linked to his rescue and recovery work after the 9/11 attacks. On Monday, less than a year later, his son Robert, 43, died of brain cancer, also related to toxin exposure at Ground Zero, his family said. They had no family history of cancer, relatives told The Washington Post, and both men lived healthy lifestyles. • Idaho town of 5,500 stocks up on portable potties as it awaits 70,000 people to show up for the eclipse: You don’t even have to do the math. Patrick Nauman will do it for you: “It’s about a thousand per ... It’s all we could get.” • Florida Uber driver sues over no-firearms policy. He says it violates a 10-year-old state law. Says he was essentially “carjacked” by a woman with a walker who wouldn’t get out. And, he says, she could have had a knife or gun. On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: We’re not quite done with Nazi Sergeant Pepper yet. Did Russian hackers screw with NC’s bluest county on election day? Perv-a-Lago doesn’t even try to hire Americans. Another conflicted Trump DoJ nominee. Still more possible Russian banking connections. x Embedded Content YouTube | iTunes | LibSyn | Keep us on the air! Donate via Patreon or Square Cash [...]



Trump quickly condemns terror attack in Barcelona

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:37:47 +0000

Almost immediately after a presumed terrorist drove a car at high speed through a group of people in Barcelona, Spain today, killing at least thirteen, Donald Trump took to Twitter to condemn the terrorist act.

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When a white supremacist drove a car at high speed through a group of people in America last week, killing one, Trump was silent on whether he considered the act to be terrorism and repeatedly blamed “both sides” for violence. He defended his slow response to reporters several days later.

“When I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts. This event just happened. In fact, a lot of the event didn't even happen yet, as we were speaking. This event just happened. Before I make a statement, I need the facts. So I don't want to rush into a statement. So making the statement when I made it was excellent.”

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Mayor of Phoenix asks Trump to postpone rally, fearing his appearance could be contentious

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:59:18 +0000

When you coddle white supremacists, sometimes your very presence sparks controversy. This is the point the nation has reached with its pr*sident—his very presence is a threat to peace. That's likely why the mayor of Phoenix is encouraging Donald Trump to delay a rally there next week because, he said, the nation “is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville"—and implicitly, from Trump's disastrous handling of it. Politico writes:

Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat who has been in office since 2012, said he hopes that “sound judgment prevails” and that the president abandons plans for an event next Tuesday at the Phoenix Convention Center. Earlier Wednesday, Trump’s reelection campaign announced that the president would hold the event to rally supporters.

Stanton noted that the site of the rally was "a public facility and open for anyone to rent—and that includes the Trump campaign." He said he would be focused on making sure the event was safe for everyone if it went forward. [...]

Stanton also warned Trump that if he was coming to town to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an outspoken immigration opponent, “it will be clear that his true intent is to inflame emotions and further divide the nation.”

Stanton's rejection and attempt to manage a guy who functions at the level of an emotional toddler is likely to anger Trump, who only responds to praise and flattery. Trump, by the account of one White House adviser, has no idea "how bad this is getting.” Nor will he ever. A narcissist can do no wrong in his own mind. Unfortunately, Stanton shouldn’t be waiting on “sound judgment” to prevail and neither should the rest of us.

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Nancy Pelosi calls for immediate removal of Confederate statues from Washington, D.C.

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:03:13 +0000

Nancy Pelosi has challenged Republicans in Congress to put action behind their words and remove Confederate statues from the capitol building.

“The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible. If Republicans are serious about rejected white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately.”  …

“There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country.” 

There are at least a dozen Confederate statues in the capitol building alone. That includes statues of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, as well as lesser known figures like Edward Douglass White. White’s stories of his exploits during the war are almost certainly fiction, his role in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision that cemented segregation for decades is an unfortunate fact.

Though the Confederate statues have been defended by Republicans in recent years, at the time they went up, the inclusion of secessionist traitors among American statesmen was considered a scandal. Donald Trump may maintain that Lee and Washington are identical, but that’s not how people felt even fifty years after the Civil War.

An Idaho senator called [the statue of Lee] a “desecration.” Then-Rep. Charles Curtis (Kan.) said: “I think it is a disgrace. He was a traitor to his country, and I will not sanction an official honor for a traitor.”

Republicans were afraid to even mention Trump while scrambling not to side with Nazis. Will they lift a finger to prove it, or side with the “very fine” white nationalists who defend these statues?

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In a show of solidarity, hundreds lined up to turn themselves in for toppling a Confederate statue

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:08:49 +0000

Activists in North Carolina took matters into their own hands and removed a Confederate statue in front of the old Durham County courthouse. Four people were quickly arrested after video went viral of them participating. Three of the four are expected in court Thursday — Dante Emmanuel Strobino, 35, Ngoc Loan Tran, 24, and Peter Gilbert, 39, all of Durham. Takiyah Thompson, 22, of Durham, was the first person charged in the incident. She had her first court appearance Wednesday morning. Here is the moment the statue came down: x#BREAKING Protesters in #Durham topple confederate monument downtown pic.twitter.com/a3BNIavyxC— Derrick Lewis (@DerrickQLewis) August 14, 2017 In a show of solidarity with the arrestees, hundreds of activists showed up at the Durham County sheriff’s office to turn themselves in as well. xWalking in to sheriffs office to collectively turn ourselves to say: targeting racial justice organizers? arrest me too! pic.twitter.com/YtTTDEQv20— ben carroll (@bncrrll) August 17, 2017 xFolks lining up to be arrested at durham jail supported by hundreds of community members pic.twitter.com/ZYLYvVeH1c— mark buttons (@_mikeburrows_) August 17, 2017 [...]



Tell us another one: McConnell is 'secretly' furious with Trump and is also a civil rights champion

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:35:41 +0000

Publicly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is subdued in his response to Trump's ongoing hole-digging on white supremacy and Nazi violence in Charlottesville. But he is sending surrogates out to talk to reporters to let us know he is secretly "livid" about the whole thing.

WASHINGTON – There was a reason why it took Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell an entire night to respond to President Trump's chaotic news conference equating counter protesters with the Nazis they came to resist.

He was livid.

Uh, huh. McConnell also wants you to know that he is a true champion for civil rights.

Two sources close to the senator, speaking under condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said the pro-civil rights Republican who lived through the 1960s in Kentucky closely deliberated on the best way forward.

He spoke to a number of aides and confidantes, reflecting on his long career in public service that began working as an aide to former Sen. John Sherman Cooper, a Kentucky senator who was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts and—specifically—how hard it was being a pro-civil rights Republican at the time.

Never mind that he didn't provide his surrogates any examples of his pro-civil rights actions or beliefs since the 1960s. Like how he doesn't see the need to restore the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court gutted it.

The Kentucky Republican said the heart of the historic anti-discrimination law remains intact, and the Supreme Court correctly ended the need for certain states to get federal permission before making any changes to their voting procedures.

"What was struck down were the provisions that absurdly treated the South differently," McConnell told USA TODAY. "They don’t apply anymore. It's 50 years later."

What do you say today, Leader McConnell, a year after telling us the nation has moved on? And, as a true champion of civil rights, what are you going to do about it? Continue to send out your surrogates to talk about your private fury? Continue to push Trump's agenda? Or do the job our Constitution—and the conscience you pretend to have—demands of you?

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Steve Bannon claims he's actually running the government while opponents are 'wetting themselves'

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:47:22 +0000

Though the news has recently treated Steve Bannon as if he’s on the ropes, Bannon claimed Wednesday that he’s putting his people into office across multiple departments, while his opponents in the Trump regime are quivering in fear of his power.

[Bannon] minced no words describing his efforts to neutralize his rivals at the Departments of Defense, State, and Treasury. “They’re wetting themselves,” he said, proceeding to detail how he would oust some of his opponents at State and Defense.

In an interview with Robert Kuttner at The American Prospect, Bannon laughed over the chaos and infighting within the Trump regime and didn’t shy away from going after officials by name.

“I’m changing out people at East Asian Defense; I’m getting hawks in. I’m getting Susan Thornton [acting head of East Asian and Pacific Affairs] out at State.”

Jobs in the Trump White House are surely found on one of the lower bolgias of Hell. Not only is there the prospect of working for a racist, paranoid, corrupt leader who needs constant reassurance that he’s not objectively awful (he is), the Worst Wing seems to be filled with factions intent on backstabbing, frontstabbing, sidestabbing … basically just stabbing their fellow workers in every way possible.

Bannon clearly feels that he’s still the lord of this pocket Inferno, he’s the one pulling strings, setting agendas, and driving the narrative. He was removed from the National Security Council in April, is now working from a “temporary office” in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and was notably not among those who went with Trump on his extended “working vacation.” But that doesn’t mean he’s being any less obnoxious.

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Republican Party torn over taking moral stand against Trump's coddling of white supremacists

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:50:03 +0000

Republicans just don't know what to do now that the GOP standard bearer is more likely to be remembered as carrying the water of neo-Nazis than fanning the flames of freedom. It's a horrific predicament choosing between morality and evil—what's a spineless politician to do? The New York Times writes:

The divisions played out in the starkly different responses across the party after Mr. Trump insisted that left-wing counterprotesters were as culpable as neo-Nazis and white supremacists for the bloodshed in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. Much of the right was ecstatic as they watched their president fume against the “violent” left and declare that “very fine people” were being besmirched for their involvement in the demonstration.

While GOP "leaders" like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell side-stepped the fact that the guy they helped elect is providing cover and encouragement to racists with a lengthy history of supporting murderous causes, some Republicans said the party would pay a price for exactly that type of equivocation.

Among younger Republicans there was a sense that the damage would be profound and enduring.

“The last year and especially the last few days have basically erased 15 years of efforts by Republicans to diversify the party,” said David Holt, a 38-year-old Oklahoma state senator running for mayor of Oklahoma City. “If I tried to sell young people in general but specifically minority groups on the Republican Party today, I’d expect them to laugh me out of the room. How can you not be concerned when the country’s demographics are shifting away from where the Republican Party seems to be shifting now?” [...]

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Trump's 'both sides' defense has a long and sordid history in American racism

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:31:13 +0000

In a radio interview, Princeton historian Kevin Kruse explained on Wednesday the history and significance of Donald Trump placing blame on "both sides" for violence at a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The "extremists" on "both sides" refrain that Donald Trump focused his remarks around was, he notes, a commonplace cry of those that opposed desegregation and the toppling of Jim Crow laws.

What they meant there were, first of all, African American activists who were calling for compliance with the Supreme Court's decision in Brown vs Board of Education. And on the other hand, they equated those people with racial terrorists like the Ku Klux Klan, who were doing anything they could to stop it. In their eyes, these were both extremists. [...]

What southern politicians would do in this period, and we're talking here about school board members all the way up to governors, is they would insist they were trying to navigate this issue and there were "hotheads" on both sides who needed to be condemned equally. And again, they would point to the Ku Klux Klan or the more respectable racists of the White Citizens Councils, in some cases, but then always single out the NAACP as the real enemy here. We have to remember this was an era in which the NAACP was actually outlawed, in Alabama, as a threat to public safety.

In a Twitter thread, Kruse shared news articles of the time in which figures from Huey Long to Eisenhower himself decried the "extremists" on both sides.

Kruse also had little sympathy for Trump's notion that taking down statues of Confederate military leaders would be a slippery path toward taking down similar monuments to George Washington or Thomas Jefferson:

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Trump doesn't mind destroying art, but loves Confederate monuments so much he made one up

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:38:00 +0000

Donald Trump’s tweets about the loss of artwork in toppling Confederate status rings more than a little false in light of his own history of smashing art.

To build his skyscraper, Trump first had to knock down the Bonwit Teller building, a luxurious limestone building erected in 1929. The face of the building featured two huge Art Deco friezes that the Metropolitan Museum of Art wanted to preserve. The museum asked Trump to save the sculptures and donate them, and the mogul agreed—as long as the cost of doing so wasn’t too high.

Surprise. Trump didn’t follow through. Not because it would have cost too much, but because he decided taking down the art would delay the project almost two weeks—and he couldn’t have that. Trump later posed as “John Baron,” pretending to be his own PR person to defend crushing some of the most important architectural art in the city.

The actual cost to recover the artwork intact was determined to be $32,000—on a project that cost between $80 and $100 million. Trump simply smashed the friezes into rubble and discarded bronzes the museum had asked him to preserve. That’s Trump’s appreciation for art.

But if Trump doesn’t care about artwork, he does care about Confederate monuments. In fact, there’s one on his Virginia golf course.

Between the 14th hole and the 15th tee of one of the club’s two courses, Mr. Trump installed a flagpole on a stone pedestal overlooking the Potomac, to which he affixed a plaque purportedly designating “The River of Blood.”

The problem is that the battle Trump memorialized, never happened.

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The man in the White House is melting down

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:54:16 +0000

This is an an actual headline about the actual man who sits in the Oval Office, who inherited the title of the most powerful man in the world: "‘He is stubborn and doesn't realize how bad this is getting." The body of the story isn't any more reassuring.

President Donald Trump’s decision to double down on his argument that "both sides" were to blame for the violent clashes at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was driven in part by his own anger—and his disdain for being told what to do.

Trump’s temper has been a constant force in this eight-month-old White House. He’s made policy decisions after becoming irritated with staffers and has escalated fights in the past few weeks with everyone from the Senate majority leader to the volatile dictator of North Korea. […]

For Trump, anger serves as a way to manage staff, express his displeasure or simply as an outlet that soothes him. Often, aides and advisers say, he’ll get mad at a specific staffer or broader situation, unload from the Oval Office and then three hours later act as if nothing ever occurred even if others still feel rattled by it. Negative television coverage and lawyers earn particular ire from him.

White House officials and informal advisers say the triggers for his temper are if he thinks someone is lying to him, if he’s caught by surprise, if someone criticizes him, or if someone stops him from trying to do something or seeks to control him.

That's the commander in chief, the man with the nuclear button. One adviser says of him "In some ways, Trump would rather have people calling him racist than say he backed down the minute he was wrong. […] This may turn into the biggest mess of his presidency because he is stubborn and doesn't realize how bad this is getting." That's not just stubborn, that's someone operating emotionally as a toddler.

It isn't going to stop because he isn't going to stop. He's not going to stop tearing this nation apart and keeping the world at the precipice of nuclear war.

So the big question is if Republicans in Congress—the supposed leaders, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell—are going to continue to go along with him on this, if getting their tax cuts and their judges is worth it.

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Trump laments removal of 'beautiful statues and monuments' celebrating fight for human enslavement

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:49:18 +0000

The hole isn’t big enough yet, folks. Trump’s back for a second round on Thursday morning…

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He added two more tweets to that thread:

...can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also... ...the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!

Because no one has a firmer grasp on historical context than Trump, especially when he’s parroting the talking the points of racists and neo-Nazis—as it appears the Daily Stormer site bragged about him doing:

Trump "uses our talking points - that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are next after the Confederate monuments and that they're trying to destroy our history."

Once again, tearing down monuments of people who have no real accomplishments other than to go to war for slavery is not the same thing as tearing down tributes to the Founding Fathers who, while not perfect, actually had accomplishments worthy of note besides owning slaves. 

This was Trump’s second round of deep thoughts Thursday morning. In the first, he endeavored to use the term “moral equivalency,” as if he knew what it meant. The problem there is that you have to have some vague sense of morality to understand the turn of phrase. 

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Donald Trump's lawyer equates Lee and Washington, says FBI and BLM are run by terrorists

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:20:39 +0000

John Dowd, the head of Donald Trump’s legal team, forwarded a letter on Wednesday that was filled with neo-Confederate distortions, racist justifications, and accusations that both the FBI and Black Lives Matters have been infiltrated by terrorists. The letter was not a random note floating through Dowd’s email stream. It was specifically titled “The Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville” and addresses Trump’s giving moral equivalency to murderous Nazis and those standing up to Nazis, by tossing on more more equivalency. In particular, the letter includes a list of items asserting that Robert E. Lee and George Washington were exactly the same.

Both owned slaves.

Both rebelled against the ruling government. …

Neither man is any different than Napoleon, Shaka Zulu, Alexander the Great, Ramses II, etc.

You cannot be against General Lee and for General Washington, there literally is no difference between the two men.

No difference. Once you ignore motive, morality, and how one of these two men was at the head of an army that killed hundreds of thousands of Americans in the name of owning other Americans. How, exactly, Washington is supposed to be similar to Napoleon, Ramses II, or any other member of the list within the list is unclear.

The letter forwarded by Dowd was actually written by Jerome Almon. Whose positions go a step beyond the statements Donald Trump has already made demaning the FBI and and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The email’s author, Jerome Almon, runs several websites alleging government conspiracies and arguing that the F.B.I. has been infiltrated by Islamic terrorists. 

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Donald Trump's morning rant attacks Republicans who dare to say his name

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:59:11 +0000

Like Voldemort or Candyman, Republicans fear that mentioning Trump by name will summon him forth. Lindsey Graham dared mention he-whose-name-can-only-be-in-giant-gold-letters on Wednesday, earning himself a personal attack on Thursday morning.

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Of course Donald Trump didn’t say there was moral equivalency. Because moral equivalency is a phrase Donald Trump couldn’t use without someone to whisper it in his ear. All he did was to say ...

What about the alt-left that came charging at the—as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? … You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. … you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. 

See. The words “moral equivalency” don’t appear. Trump also made a point of saying that Robert Lee and Stonewall Jackson were just like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, a point his lawyer reinforced on Thursday with a fresh heap of we didn’t say moral equivalency. 

Trump didn’t stop himself with an attack on Graham. He also went straight for another Republican who had failed to bend the knee.

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Morning Digest: Court ruling striking down Texas GOP's congressional map still disappoints Democrats

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:01:15 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● TX Redistricting: Late on Tuesday, a federal court in San Antonio struck down Texas' congressional map on the grounds that the Republican lawmakers who drew it had engaged in intentional racial discrimination in violation of both the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. The court ordered lawmakers to swiftly lay out their plans to redraw the map. The new districts will take effect for the 2018 midterm elections if this ruling survives a likely appeal to the Supreme Court.​ Campaign Action ​Meanwhile, Texas' Republican Gov. Greg Abbott didn't sound too keen on calling a special session over redistricting, stating that he feels "confident the Supreme Court will overturn [the ruling]." If he doesn't do so ahead of the court's Friday deadline, the court itself could redraw the map after its upcoming Sept. 5 hearing. ​​If the Supreme Court ultimately sustains this ruling, Democrats and Latinos could gain one congressional seat. However, that's a major disappointment compared to the two or even three seats that plaintiffs had hoped for. Specifically, the court invalidated Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold's 27th District, which is based in Corpus Christi and branches northwest toward Austin and northeast toward the Houston area, and Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett's 35th District, which connects San Antonio and Austin via a narrow tendril. However, the court did not strike down Republican Rep. Will Hurd's 23rd District, a huge beast that stretches from El Paso to San Antonio, something that multiple redistricting experts had expected to happen. The court also declined to strike down any districts in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area even though plaintiffs—and an analysis by Daily Kos Elections—have repeatedly demonstrated that Republicans could have easily drawn another district in the region that would allow Latinos to elect their candidate of choice. In a new post, Stephen Wolf takes a detailed look at what could happen next in Texas. [...]



Cheers and Jeers: Thursday

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:16:18 +0000

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE

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Official White House Statement

August 17, 2017

For Immediate Release

During his inspiring and very prestigious press engagement Tuesday at Trump Tower, The President made the following statement about the weekend events that transpired in Charlottesville:

"I watched much more closely than you people watched it, and you had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say that right now. You had a group on one side that came charging in, without a permit, and they were very, very violent.”

In response to media inquiries, the president is providing the following examples of permit-less "alt-left" behavior that he himself witnessed with his own infallible 20-20 eyesight:

  • A leftist mother showing her baby how to load and fire a bazooka
  • Mexican rapists and murderers bused in from sanctuary cities that pillaged and plundered the entire town
  • Crooked Hillary loading her email server into a catapult and launching it at the Robert E. Lee statue
  • Saul Alinsky driving a bulldozer over a copy of the U.S. Constitution
  • Land-based, laser-armed sharks on leashes
  • Ken Frazier of Merck running around raising drug prices
  • Reporters from the failing New York Times stabbing wildly with their fake news writing pencils
  • Barack Hussein Obama wadding up his Kenyan birth certificate, lighting it on fire, and hurling it at the very fine and silent permit-holding protesters
  • Deep state leakers blabbing secrets that will severely damage our country but are all false anyway
  • Thousands upon thousands of Muslims cheering the carnage
  • George Soros paying each of the permit-less counter-protesters millions of dollars per person to be there.

As the President stated: "When I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts. Before I make a statement, I need the facts." Having just presented the above incontrovertible facts about the Charlottesville counter-protesters, we hope the fake media will now agree that both sides are to blame.

P.S. When visiting Charlottesville, be sure to stop by the President's fabulous winery. It is the largest and greatest in America by a huge and massive margin and every grape is perfect, believe us.

###

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold...[Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

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Daily Kos Radio is ALL-NEW at 9 AM ET!

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:01:15 +0000

We’re not done with Nazi Sergeant Pepper just yet. But also, Russia! It’s still there! And the swamp is getting murkier. Eventually, Republicans and pundits are going to forget that they’re outraged that Trump is unfit for office, and remember that he’s also corrupt on a cosmic scale. Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET! Hello. Do you think the world has gone crazy? Well, so do we. That’s why we get up early each weekday morning to say so on Daily Kos Radio. There’s no better way to start the day than by commiserating with Daily Kos editors David Waldman, Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, and even Armando. Wait! We can prove it! Take our latest show for a FREE test drive. Then, after you decide you love it so much you can’t live without it, click on the links below the player to contribute and help sustain the progressive podcast that kept people sane, even on The Day After: Nov. 9, 2016! Now that’s value! x YouTube Video YouTube | iTunes | LibSyn | Keep us on the air! Donate via Patreon or Square Cash David Waldman isn’t sure when “today” is in today’s new, pre-recorded KITM, but he does remember about when last week was, and he certainly can find next week on a calendar—that’s when he returns. But how au courant does one need to be nowadays, anyhow? Throw a dart at a list of reprehensible, inhuman, unAmerican traits and actions and prescience is yours. Today’s words are: Nazi, and… Gorka. To some Sebastian Gorka is synonymous with “Nazi”, but his reprehensibility has somewhat more depth and nuance. Gorka tried to bring a handgun through airport security. He thinks the Minnesota Mosque Attack was probably the fault of the left. Gorka says people should stop criticizing white supremacists so much. He is exactly the pit bull Trump doesn’t need, which is precisely why he has his White House job. He tried pulling this stuff in Hungary, but just couldn’t find the right tin-pot dictator to hook up with until he came here. Remember the Jewish community centers bomb threats? There have been more than 100 since the election, but the FBI arrested a few suspects so far. One was some loon trying to harass an ex-girlfriend. Another was an Israeli American teenager, who could also be a loon, but really, he was just in it for the money. (Thanks again to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more!) Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold. [...]



Abbreviated pundit round-up: Waiting for DJT to order staff to smile when he spews; Charlottesville

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:31:08 +0000

Here’s something to start out today’s APR that’s nearly 10 weeks old and not really punditry but that still merits notice under our current circumstances. Gen. Robert E. Lee typically gets a pass even from many liberals when discussing the Civil War. Adam Serwer at The Atlantic points out that this is a false assessment in his excellent The Myth of the Kindly General Lee—The legend of the Confederate leader’s heroism and decency is based in the fiction of a person who never existed: [E]ven if one conceded Lee’s military prowess, he would still be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans in defense of the South’s authority to own millions of human beings as property because they are black. Lee’s elevation is a key part of a 150-year-old propaganda campaign designed to erase slavery as the cause of the war and whitewash the Confederate cause as a noble one. That ideology is known as the Lost Cause, and as historian David Blight writes, it provided a “foundation on which Southerners built the Jim Crow system.” [...] Lee’s cruelty as a slavemaster was not confined to physical punishment. In Reading the Man, the historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor’s portrait of Lee through his writings, Pryor writes that “Lee ruptured the Washington and Custis tradition of respecting slave families,” by hiring them off to other plantations, and that “by 1860 he had broken up every family but one on the estate, some of whom had been together since Mount Vernon days.” The separation of slave families was one of the most unfathomably devastating aspects of slavery, and Pryor wrote that Lee’s slaves regarded him as “the worst man I ever see.” The trauma of rupturing families lasted lifetimes for the enslaved—it was, as my colleague Ta-Nehisi Coates described it, “a kind of murder.” After the war, thousands of the emancipated searched desperately for kin lost to the market for human flesh, fruitlessly for most. In Reconstruction, the historian Eric Foner quotes a Freedmen’s Bureau agent who notes of the emancipated, “in their eyes, the work of emancipation was incomplete until the families which had been dispersed by slavery were reunited.” Lee’s heavy hand on the Arlington plantation, Pryor writes, nearly led to a slave revolt, in part because the enslaved had been expected to be freed upon their previous master’s death, and Lee had engaged in a dubious legal interpretation of his will in order to keep them as his property, one that lasted until a Virginia court forced him to free them. [...] There are former Confederates who sought to redeem themselves—one thinks of James Longstreet, wrongly blamed by Lost Causers for Lee’s disastrous defeat at Gettysburg, who went from fighting the Union army to leading New Orleans’s integrated police force in battle against white supremacist paramilitaries. But there are no statues of Longstreet in New Orleans. Lee was devoted to defending the principle of white supremacy; Longstreet was not. This, perhaps, is why Lee was placed atop the largest Confederate monument at Gettysburg in 1917,  but the 6-foot-2-inch Longstreet had to wait until 1998 to receive a smaller-scale statue hidden in the woods that makes him look like a hobbit riding a donkey. It’s why Lee is remembered as a hero, and Longstreet is remembered as a disgrace. The white supremacists who have protested on Lee’s behalf are not betraying his legacy. In fact, they have every reason to admire him. Lee, whose devotion to white supremacy outshone his loyalty to hi[...]



Open thread for night owls. Katherine Cross: The Art of the Real—Disinformation vs. Democracy

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:01:08 +0000

Katherine Cross calls herself a pizza-loving feminist sociologist, trans Latina, and amateur slug herder, working on her PhD at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her blog can be found at quinnae.com. At The Baffler, she writes—The Art of the Real. Disinformation vs. Democracy. An excerpt: THE CONCEPT OF “THE BIG LIE”—a brazen untruth pushed so relentlessly in mass media that it’s eventually mistaken for truth—is hardly novel. As is the case with so many other wretched stratagems of its ilk, capitalism got there first with the PR technique known as FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt. FUD campaigns disseminate plausibly deniable aspersions on, say, the safety of a competitor’s products. Such a tactic works because the advent of mass media flooded public discourse with info gluts, bubbles, and echo chambers that can overload a person’s capacity to sort fact from fiction. Contrary to all the Luddite wailing about our social media insularity, biased news streams date back at least to the storied yellow-journalism career of William Randolph Hearst, and have been a fixture of salons and coffeehouses since Gutenberg. After all, there’s a reason some particularly venerable American newspapers are called the X Republican or Y Democrat. So why has “post-truth” only now become the OED word of the year? Without question, something has shifted in our ever more postmodern world. What the KGB once called dezinformatsiya, and the Reagan administration named “perception management,” has now come to dominate public life. Everywhere we turn in the aborning age of Trump, we see the deliberate spreading of contradictory, misleading, and outright false “news.” The ceaseless fount of counter-information creates a general climate of mass confusion, causing even the most resolute auditors to doubt their senses. This increasingly influential phenomenon is strangling both the internet and liberal democracy. What separates our brave new world of counterfeit information from the ideologically driven news outlets of the past, or even the late Cold War propaganda initiatives mounted by the United States and the USSR, is that this time, the Big Lies are bubbling up from grassroots internet cesspools—though these are increasingly in cahoots with powerful moneyed interests. Donald Trump stumbled down his golden escalator at a particularly congenial historical moment. Fake news—the original, Facebook-enabled variety, not the casual slur trotted out against the press on a near-daily basis by the Trump White House—effectively dominated news cycles the week before Election Day, steeped in the same ethos that innervated the alt-right Nazis: chan culture. “Trolling” and online harassment campaigns rely on a brand of perception management that would have made Reagan’s State Department proud: targeting individuals or groups, causing them to doubt facts and reality, or even doubt their senses, but leaving them in a constant state of unknowing terror. These tactics, bred in a nihilistic and proudly apolitical world, were folded back into the realm of activism, absorbed into right-wing media, and have now made their way into the White House. [...] • An Activists’ Calendar of Resistance Events • Indivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES QUOTATION “The likelihood that your acts of resistance cannot stop the injustice does not exempt you from acting in what you sincerely and reflectively hold to be the best interests of your community.”   [...]



Perfect: Paul Ryan's first public town hall in nearly two years will be on eclipse day

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 16:18:15 +0000

It’s been nearly two years since House Speaker Paul Ryan held a public town hall meeting, so now that he’s finally holding one, it’s appropriate that it will be on the day of an even rarer event: a solar eclipse.

The town hall in Racine is being organized by CNN and will be hosted by Jake Tapper. Ryan’s office says CNN will be in charge of attendance for the event and is inviting attendees from Ryan’s southeastern Wisconsin congressional district.

Ryan is still going for a controlled environment and ducking a truly public town hall at which he could face organized opposition, in other words, but if he faces any tough questions at all—which he likely will, if for no other reason than CNN knowing it'll make good television—it’ll be a far cry from the invite-only events he’s become accustomed to.

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Heller finally admits he voted for Trump, reminding Nevada voters how weak and dishonest he is

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:26:10 +0000

Sen. Dean Heller got a primary challenger last week, and this week he’s showing how craven and desperate he is. Perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian will challenge Heller in the Nevada Republican primary, prompting Heller to try to shore up his right flank: In a short statement released to The Nevada Independent, Heller — who is up for reelection in 2018 and is being challenged in a primary by businessman Danny Tarkanian — confirmed that he indeed voted for the Republican nominee during the 2016 election after more than a year of vocal criticism toward the party’s nominee. “Yes, I voted for Donald Trump,” he said in a statement texted to a reporter. Previously, Heller had tried to look like he was standing up to Trump by talking like a critic while actually voting with Trump 90 percent of the time. Most notably, he told reporters in October 2016 that he was 99 percent certain he would oppose the Republican nominee for president. Heller also donated campaign donations from Trump to charity in 2015, and said during the campaign he was “vehemently opposed” to Trump, whom he described as a man that “denigrates human beings.” Heller is particularly vulnerable because he angered voters of all political stripes during the Senate’s healthcare fight, first claiming he was opposed to Trumpcare and then voting for it in the end. It was exactly the kind of performance you get from a guy who only admits to having voted for his party’s president the week after he gets a primary challenger. Weak, spineless, dishonest, unprincipled. Can you chip in $1 to each of the Democratic nominee funds targeting Dean Heller and other Senate Republicans? [...]



This is why Republicans stand with Trump: Appeals court rules Arkansas can defund Planned Parenthood

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:05:30 +0000

Want to know why so few Republicans are willing to call their president out by name as giving aid and succor to white nationalists? This is why—he'll appoint more federal judges to rule counter to federal law in cases like this.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal appeals court panel has ruled that Arkansas can block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood over videos secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group.

A 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Wednesday vacated preliminary injunctions a federal judge issued preventing the state from suspending any Medicaid payments for patients who receive services from Planned Parenthood. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson ended the state’s Medicaid contract with the organization in 2015 over the videos.

This is the first case in several that didn't go against a state. Because federal Medicaid law is clear. Providers can be barred from receiving Medicaid funds if they commit fraud or violate licensing laws or the Medicaid statute. The Obama administration reminded states of this last year, in a letter sent to officials in all 50 states. States have an obligation, the administration said, "to follow longstanding Medicaid law guaranteeing that beneficiaries have the right to receive covered services, including family planning services, from any qualified and willing provider of their choice." Federal law hasn't changed in a year's time on that.

What has changed is the administration and the far-right, activist judiciary thinking they can stretch their wings now that there's a hope that the Supreme Court is going to end up on their side through more Trump appointees.

That's what is keeping Republicans on Trump's side—the long game on remaking the federal judiciary (and tax cuts, always tax cuts). Because they are on his side in this—every one of them who will not call him out by name for encouraging white supremacists, for his willingness to rip this country apart.

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Transgender military ban still in limbo as Mattis awaits official 'guidance' from Trump

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:58:51 +0000

It's been 21 days since Donald Trump whimsically fired off several tweets that he thought could instantaneously set military-wide policy on a matter the Pentagon has been studying since last year. Top military brass quickly said they would keep the current policy of allowing transgender soldiers to serve openly until such time as Trump was able to get it together, do what a real commander in chief would do, and issue formal guidance on the policy change. As of Monday, Defense Sec. James Mattis was still waiting on that guidance and, even when he gets it, it's still not entirely clear what will be done with it given that the issues involved are clearly too complicated for Trump to comprehend. CNN writes: "We are going to study the issue," Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon. "The policy is going to address whether or not transgenders can serve under what conditions, what medical support they require, how much time would they be perhaps non-deployable leaving others to pick up their share of everything. There's a host of issues and I'm learning more about this than I ever thought I would and it's obviously very complex to include the privacy issues which we respect," Mattis said. "I am waiting right now to get the President's guidance in and that I expect to be very soon," he added. Mattis said Pentagon officials (whom he informally called "my people") were at the White House providing Trump aides with "any military background" that might help them actually inform the policy they are now crafting following Trump's whim. A Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Pentagon last year found that allowing transgender troops to serve openly would have "minimal impact" on unit cohesion, military readiness, and overall health care costs. That's the good news—actual research is already available that reveals Trump's complete ignorance on the matter (though Mattis declined to endorse the study at the press conference). The bad news is that Trump isn't concerned with facts, only with feeding his ego and saving face when his many rants and utterances are shown to be born of sheer stupidity. [...]



Court strikes down Texas GOP's congressional gerrymander, but Democratic victory is limited

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:48:58 +0000

Late on Tuesday, as Donald Trump was busy defending white supremacists, a federal court in San Antonio struck down Texas’ congressional map on the grounds that the Republican lawmakers who drew it had engaged in intentional racial discrimination in violation of both the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. The court ordered lawmakers to swiftly lay out their plans to redraw the map, which is shown at the top of this post (click here for a larger version). The new districts will take effect for the 2018 midterm elections if this ruling survives a likely appeal to the Supreme Court. If the high court ultimately sustains this ruling, Democrats and Latinos could gain one congressional seat, but that’s a major disappointment compared to the two or even three seats that plaintiffs had hoped for. Specifically, the court invalidated Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold’s 27th District, which is based in Corpus Christi and branches northwest toward Austin and northeast toward the Houston area, and Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s 35th District, which connects San Antonio and Austin via a narrow tendril. Regarding the 27th, The judges ruled that removing Corpus Christi’s Nueces County from a Latino-majority district during redistricting in 2011 had deprived Latino voters there of the opportunity to elect their candidate of choice (most likely a Latino Democrat). Meanwhile, the court held that the narrowly Latino-majority 35th District was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander whose configuration did not satisfy any compelling government interest. Indeed, said the judges, the district merely functioned to pack in Democratic voters to make the surrounding seats safe for white Republicans. What’s more, it was not even capable of consistently electing the preferred candidate of Latino voters since white Democrats from Austin have always had considerably higher turnout rates in Democratic primaries. Unfortunately, the court did not strike down Republican Rep. Will Hurd’s 23rd District, a huge beast that stretches from El Paso to San Antonio, something that multiple redistricting experts had expected to happen. Republicans intentionally diluted Latino voting strength in this district by adding low-turnout Latino populations and high-turnout white voters, giving the district a nominal Latino-majority population while ensuring that the actual electorate was majority-white. The fact that the court has left this district untouched is a major blow to Democratic hopes, but the swingy seat may nonetheless be winnable if 2018 turns out to be a good year for Democrats. In addition, the court declined to strike down any districts in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area even though plaintiffs—and an analysis by Daily Kos Elections—have repeatedly demonstrated that Republicans could have easily drawn another district in the region that would allow Latinos to elect their candidate of choice. While such an outcome was less likely than the prospect of the court ordering changes to the 23rd, its failure to materialize is nonetheless another disappointing aspect of this ruling. [...]



Colorado Republican feels the heat back home for his Obamacare repeal vote

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:17:43 +0000

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) probably felt he was pretty safe having town meetings this week, since he actually came out of the gates Saturday with a very strong statement on Charlottesville, tweeting "Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism." He did get credit for that at his meetings, but that's about all, because what was on his constituents' minds was his vote to take away their health care.

While Gardner’s constituents in this purple state applauded him for his swift and strong condemnation of white supremacist groups this weekend, he was interrupted by boos and jeers of “shame” and was called a “liar” as he defended his support for health care legislation that would have significantly scaled back Obamacare and Medicaid. One attendee at the town hall here, held at Colorado Christian University in a Denver-area suburb, was escorted out by police after repeatedly shouting, “Why are you taking away health care?”

“This was so partisan in what you came up with,” said Scott McLean, a 63-year-old who said he pays roughly $830 in premiums each month for an Obamacare plan.

“You didn’t even have a woman on the panel,” McLean said, referring to the 13-member, all-male working group tasked with drafting the Senate’s original repeal legislation. The comment drew a standing ovation from the roughly 400-person crowd in Greeley, the second of Gardner's three town halls on Tuesday.

Gardner is up for re-election in 2020. I think it's pretty darned likely he's not going to be pushing for any more Obamacare repeal votes in the Senate.

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Trump regime killed funds dedicated to fighting Nazis, denies there's an issue

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:44:11 +0000

While Donald Trump was quick to praise the police in Charlottesville, he doesn’t want to listen to the police when they talk about the real threats to the nation.

A 2015 survey of nearly 400 law enforcement officials by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University, found that antigovernment violent extremists, including white supremacist groups, were “the most severe threat of political violence that they face.”

Actually supporting the police means actively fighting radical white supremacists through a group called Life After Hate. Under President Obama, there was a move to address these groups, but Donald Trump’s team moved to undercut this program even before they took office.

Trump aides, including Katharine Gorka, a controversial national security analyst known for her anti-Muslim rhetoric, were already working toward eliminating Life After Hate’s grant and to direct all funding toward fighting what the president has described as “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Now the grant that was intended to fight Nazis, only to be cancelled by Nazis, is getting a second look.

But after the violent, deadly clash on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., the move to pull back the money from a group dedicated to helping people leave hate groups is receiving renewed scrutiny.

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Troll organizer cancels far-right 'March on Google' before it can flop and embarrass him

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:13:32 +0000

The “March on Google” planned by far-right provocateurs for this weekend has been canceled, supposedly because of threats of violence from the “alt-left.” Google was targeted for protest for having fired James Damore over his memo opposing diverse hiring and pushing pseudoscience nonsense about women’s inferiority, and protests were supposedly planned in nine cities before being canceled. The claim of “Alt Left terrorist threats” is, of course, an attempt to expand on the false equivalency between neo-Nazis and anti-racists that Donald Trump so helpfully set up on Tuesday. And here’s how believable that claim is.

The rally’s organizer, Jack Posobiec,

... gained national attention from the conspiracy theory that claimed Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief harbored a child sex ring in a pizza restaurant in Washington. The Internet-fueled falsehood led a gunman in December to fire an assault-style rifle as he searched the pizzeria, Comet Ping Pong.

Posobiec was also responsible for a sign saying “Rape Melania” being held up at an anti-Trump rally, trying to make it look like that sentiment was coming from anti-Trump protesters. If that history isn’t enough to convince you that his claims about what the left is doing to threaten his march might just be a total load of bull, consider that prominent white supremacist leaders were vocally not on board with Posobiec’s plans:

“The rallies this weekend are being created by the alt-light so they are going to suck,” alt-right leader Richard Spencer said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. Alt-light is a term used by some alt-right figures to disparage more conciliatory elements of the movement.

Indeed, Posobiec seems less like a committed white supremacist than like a far-right troll who’ll try to jump on anything he can to get attention. Racism may be a favored tool, but it’s not his overriding passion as it is for Spencer. Planning to protest Google got him attention, and now Donald Trump has handed him the way to get attention for canceling the protests before they have a chance to publicly flop. 

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Ding dong, Texas' anti-trans bathroom bill is dead, for now

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:21:53 +0000

When the Texas legislature's special session came to a close Tuesday, so did GOP Lt. Gov Dan Patrick's crusade to prohibit transgender individuals from using public restrooms. The bathroom bill, which Patrick tried to force into consideration by holding other legislation hostage, was ultimately blocked by a Republican House speaker who sided with trans activists, law enforcement officials and the state's business community. The Texas Tribune writes:

Transgender women, men and children from across Texas descended on the Capitol to testify about how the proposal — which would ban local policies that ensured transgender individuals’ right to use public and school restrooms that match their gender identity — could endanger their lives. The business community rallied against the legislation too, giving House Speaker Joe Straus cover as he refused to negotiate with Patrick on bathroom restrictions. [...]

With the national debate over North Carolina's bathroom still lingering, he was backed up by top business executives, including the heads of dozens of Fortune 500 companies, who worried that Texas could invite the same economic blows the Tar Heel State faced after passing a similar bill, including canceled corporate expansions and sports tournaments.

They called [Republican Gov. Greg] Abbott to express their displeasure and launched a flurry of letters warning about the harm that laws deemed discriminatory toward the LGBT community could cause.

Abbott, who was eager to sign the bill, hasn't ruled out calling a second special session, but at this point it's hard to imagine the effort could gain the support of Straus, or even other Republicans. It actually lost momentum during the first special session.

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100 law professors to Trump: 'No question' DACA is constitutional

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:29:57 +0000

There is “no question” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is legal, some 100 law professors have written in a letter to Donald Trump, calling on him to continue the program despite a legal threat from beleaguered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other anti-immigrant state leaders to sue him if he does not announce he will end the program by Sept. 5. 

Paxton and the nine leaders are disguising their full-throated support of Trump’s racist, immoral mass deportation force with claims about DACA’s constitutionality, but the fact is that the issue of DACA’s legality has already been settled because “the U.S. government has repeatedly — and successfully—defended DACA against constitutional challenges,” notes the American Civil Liberties Union. “Indeed, every legal challenge to the DACA program has failed.”

The letter to Trump, signed by law experts from Harvard Law School, Rutgers Law School, U.C. Berkeley School of Law, Yale Law School, and dozens of other universities and colleges states that the U.S. Constitution gives a president the authority “to target some immigration cases for removal and to use prosecutorial discretion favorably in others.” So if Trump ends DACA, the experts write, it will have been a “political decision, not a legal one”:

“The legal authority for the Executive Branch to operate DACA 2012 is crystal clear. As such, choices about its future would constitute a policy and political decision, not a legal one. As the administration decides how best to address DACA 2012, we hope that the legal foundation and history for this policy is addressed wisely and that decisions on the future of DACA 2012 are made humanely.”

If DACA is rescinded, some 800,000 immigrant youth will lose their work permits and protection from deportation, cutting off their ability to support themselves and their families, and ultimately making them vulnerable to deportation. Many of these immigrant youth came to the U.S. so young that they remember no other country but the United States as their home.

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Cartoon: Trump does not see a problem

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 17:34:24 +0000

The terrorist loving occupant of the White House just did not see any problem with white supremacists causing violence and killing Americans in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. “Both sides do it.” 

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Trump sabotage could cost country billions, says CBO, but not destroy Obamacare

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:01:45 +0000

The Congressional Budget Office's review of potential Trump sabotage presented less dire news than Trump has been counting on should he decide to halt cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.

These CSR payments are reimbursements to insurance companies who subsidize the deductibles, co-pays, and other out-of-pocket costs for lower-income people purchasing the "silver" plans, the standard the law sets as a benchmark in each market for determining subsidy levels for those who qualify for them. They are the only level of plan that qualifies both for the tax credit and CSR subsidies. Insurance companies are required by the law to provide the CSR subsidies to people at 100 to 250 percent of the poverty level buying their silver plans. Here's where it gets kind of weird.

The CBO report envisions a relatively orderly process in which Trump announces his plans to cut off the money in advance, with the payments not halting until January.

The agency also assumes that insurance companies and state insurance regulators would agree on a plan to institute the higher premium increases only for Silver-level policies, not the skimpier Bronze plans or the more generous Gold and Platinum plans.

Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt points out that this means the more expensive gold plans could end up being cheaper than the silver plans, sort of a perverse result, and that the federal government is paying more—a lot more—for those tax credits. While it would save $118 billion over the next 10 years in CSR payments, it would by paying out $365 billion more in premium subsidies.

While the report doesn't show dire consequences for the insured in this report, it considers only what it can—the end of CSR payments—and not the full range of Trump's sabotage capabilities.

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Our top cop Sessions demonstrates exactly the kind of moral clarity we needed on 'Charlotte'

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:33:12 +0000

The country needs someone to pull the country out of a spiral and since Donald Trump is steering us into the ground, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is here to do the job.   xHere's AG Jeff Sessions on #Charlottesville, which he mispronounced as Charlotte: pic.twitter.com/p52K1D0Mu8— Esther Lee 👩🏻‍💻📰 (@EstherYuHsiLee) August 16, 2017 Nothing like bringing some clarity to the “Charlotte” situation. That aside, what exactly is Sessions saying, really? We’re desperate for someone to take a clear stand, and “those kind of things” is the best he can do? We can’t even tell whether he’s taking issue with Trump’s justification of racist violence or thinly backing Trump’s stance (like Pence is.) xSo Sessions says we can't accept racism & bigotry but we also can't apologize for it? https://t.co/Q5FAfWH3ey— Joe Sudbay (@JoeSudbay) August 16, 2017 But of course we can’t tell what he’s saying. Sessions doesn’t want us to know. The day after Trump provided safe harbor to white supremacists, Sessions rushed to Miami to plug the administration’s nativist anti-immigrant efforts and slam sanctuary cities—because that was just the type of leadership we needed from our top law enforcement official, right as the nation teeters on the edge. [...]



From racist bully to victim: watch this Nazi leader break down in tears over his imminent arrest

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:18:17 +0000

If you watched Vice News’ chilling, terrifying “Charlottesville: Race and Terror” episode, you’ll recognize Christopher Cantwell, lead Nazi and shit talker in the lead-up to the Charlottesville hate rally. If you haven’t seen the segment, watch it below. it is 1000 percent-required watching for all Americans, providing shocking insight into the minds of the white nationalists who marched in Virginia.

Much of the Vice episode focused on Cantwell, a white nationalist leader and one of the rally organizers. He can be seen in the video pouring milk over his face after he was maced and telling Elle Reeve of Vice News, “We’re not non-violent. We’ll fucking kill these people if we have to.”

Only a short time later, James Fields Jr. did kill one of those people when he plowed his car into counter-protesters, injuring nearly two dozen more.

Cantwell later told Reeves, “The fact that nobody on our side died, I’d call that points for us” and said he believed “a lot more people are going to die here.”

Fast forward to today, and what does tough guy and white nationalist Christopher Cantwell have to say now? Upon hearing the news that the police are looking for him, he released a tear-filled video, pleading for America to understand he was only talking shit before! He didn’t really mean it. Sure he was carrying a small arsenal of guns and told Vice he has been preparing and training for violence, but now? It was all locker room talk, right guys?

Watch it below.

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Silence is complicity; 'support' is collaboration

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:11:17 +0000

As Donald Trump's defense of white supremacy and pro-Nazi marchers lays waste to the notion that the man has any defining principles at all, save his own self-promotion, his lawyer steps up to declare that just because he works for and "supports" Trump does not make him a racist too. He declared this in the usual manner, for those that support racist policies while insisting they themselves would never harbor such thoughts: with a photo montage of himself associating with black people.

x

This is, of course, precisely what Trump himself has done. It is precisely what Paul Ryan has done, and Mitch McConnell, and every Republican lawmaker currently declaring their intolerance for racism while remaining silent on why, precisely, they have each been driven to such a statement—it is in fact the Great Heralding Call of the Republican Party, as they have systemically worked to undermine the civil and voting rights of black Americans for a half-century and counting. It is why Jeff Sessions is now in charge of the Justice Department, with the full support of his not-racist party. It is how this works.

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The fact Trump's first pardon may be for an 'authoritarian racist' shouldn't be a shock to anyone

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:17:20 +0000

Donald Trump’s recently announced Arizona rally is fueling speculation he may go through with pardoning Crooked Joe Arpaio, recently found guilty of criminal contempt of court for disobeying a federal judge’s order to stop racial profiling Latino and immigrant drivers in Maricopa County in order to turn them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). But the fact that Trump may pardon Arpaio while he himself is in the midst of self-inflicted chaos following Charlottesville should be a shock to no one. This is who Donald Trump is. While he may have initially been cajoled into some words of condemnation following the terror attack, don’t be fooled, because his subsequent, unscripted embrace of white supremacists shows who he really is. His “both sides-ing” of decent people and Nazis shows who he really is. His openness to pardoning a racist, lawless thug like Joe Arpaio shows who he really is: You’ll probably remember that the president often pines for a time in the past when violence was doled out to the powerless without any accountability. During campaign rallies, he would respond to protesters by telling his supporters to “knock the crap out of ’em, would you?”, and at times specifically cited that kind of mob violence as the mark of a lost and better time: “I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks. It’s true. … I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you.” Trump wasn’t only complaining about the “political correctness” of social mores; he was also lamenting the fact that legal protections against violence and discrimination have grown stronger in recent decades (granting that they aren’t nearly strong enough). For his part, Arpaio looked for nostalgic ways to humiliate and brutalize the prisoners in his care, making them wear old-fashioned striped uniforms and putting them into roadside chain gangs. He too was someone who saw the “good old days” as a better time, when racial minorities knew that laws and institutions would not protect them from powerful people who wanted to put them in their place — indeed, those laws and institutions would be wielded against them, civil rights be damned. [...]



In the middle of the night, Baltimore removes its Confederate statues and residents celebrate

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:41:14 +0000

The history of the Civil War and the Confederacy are exactly that—history. America has a complex relationship with its history. Certain parts of it, we revere and treat as legend. Other parts, the grim and ugly ones, we shirk away from and have a harder time telling the truth about. The wonderful thing about history is that it provides us an opportunity to look critically at the past and move forward. The debate about Confederate monuments is certainly about history. But we have to be honest about whether or not this particular part of history is the one we want to hold in high regard. Cities across the country are deciding to remove their Confederate monuments—signaling that the time has come to move on from a period in time that represents slavery, racism and the division of the country. And in Baltimore, early on Wednesday morning, the city took a step forward when its Confederate statues were from around the city. 

Statues dedicated to Confederate heroes were swiftly removed across the city in the small hours of Wednesday morning, just days after violence broke out over the removal of a similar monument in neighboring Virginia.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Mayor Catherine Pugh said that given the current political climate, it was important to move “quickly and quietly” as a matter of public safety.

“I thought that there’s enough grandstanding, enough speeches being made,” she said. “Get it done.”

Currently, Baltimore is a predominately black city. This means that for years its black residents were forced to see symbols that are a reminder of the systematic oppression of black people. Moreover, these statues were erected long after the Civil War was over—during the Jim Crow era, another reminder of how black people were (and still are) treated as less than in our society. It’s worth asking why these statues were put up when they were and what the intended message was behind them. Such conversations about the preservation of history need to be had in context. Part of this context includes acknowledging that these monuments which honor individuals who fought to keep blacks enslaved were put up to send a message that folks were, in fact, okay with slavery and racism. 

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Midday open thread: Nazi site gets a new home, Hope Hicks gets a new title. Laugh! Cry!

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:01:06 +0000

● Today’s comic by Matt Bors is What gets Trump mad: ● The Lincoln Memorial was vandalized, because welcome to 2017. ● Laugh, then cry a little: xSomeone updated the list of Confederate presidents on Wikipedia pic.twitter.com/lKfW7Ov1ao— jordan 🌹🌹 (@JordanUhl) August 16, 2017 ● The ever-loyal Hope Hicks will be Donald Trump's interim communications director: Ms. Hicks, who grew up in Greenwich, Conn., will temporarily fill the vacancy left by Anthony Scaramucci. Unlike Mr. Scaramucci, who kept a high profile during his 10 days in the position, Ms. Hicks has long been a hidden hand, staying behind the scenes and outlasting other administration staff members. She knows Mr. Trump’s rhythms, and he views her as one of the few people around him truly looking out for his interests, not tending her own image. ● The Daily Stormer was a little too Nazi for GoDaddy, but it has a new Russian domain, so neo-Nazis can continue getting their “news” without further interruption. ●  xHeather Heyer's mother: "I'd rather have my child. But, by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're going to make it count." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/183Upj5xNr— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 16, 2017 On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: If Jared & Ivanka could really do anything, it’d be an outrage that they’re on vacation again! Then again, so is David Waldman. Luckily, he left us with an all-new show about Nazis in the White House. Not Trump, but his Nazi Sgt. Pepper, Sebastian Gorka. x Embedded Content YouTube | iTunes | LibSyn | Keep us on the air! Donate via Patreon or Square Cash [...]



Pence suddenly cuts overseas trip short so he can literally 'stand with' Trump

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:19:36 +0000

Crisis, anyone? 

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It seems Mike Pence has woken up to the fact that this is a perilous political moment for the White House—and Republicans, more broadly. Is he the man to help? Surely, he thinks he is—even after he committed a total dereliction of duty with the benefit of a full sleep cycle to ponder Donald Trump’s defense of neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

Vice President Mike Pence declined Wednesday to distance himself from President Donald Trump’s controversial doubling down on violence that occurred at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

“I spoke at length about this heartbreaking situation on Sunday night in Colombia,” Pence told reporters during a news conference in Chile alongside President Michelle Bachelet. “I stand with the president, and I stand by those words.”

“I stand with the president.” Those could be fateful words, folks. If Pence manages to outlast Trump politically, those words aren’t going to look good alongside video of torch-carrying hate marchers yelling, “Jews will not replace us!”  

But more importantly, Pence clearly doesn’t have what it takes to meet this political moment, just like Republican lawmakers don’t. They collectively have no idea what a total cluster f*ck they are making of an already disastrous situation by pretending Trump didn’t just publicly declare himself a white supremacist sympathizer. 

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Not one person working in Trump's White House has shown the dignity and moral fiber to resign yet

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:59:16 +0000

Among all the fallout from Donald Trump's moral equivalency rant Tuesday that revealed him to be a white supremacist sympathizer is the realization that as of 12 PM ET the following day, not one single person working in his White House had resigned. Never in my lifetime have I seen a more important historical moment than this—a time at which our country’s moral certitude is being tested. We have been struggling with issues of racism and white supremacy since the very founding of our nation, but never in modern times has our country been led by someone with such moral depravity that they would defend the actions of a hate-filled group of marchers who showed up looking to crack skulls and ultimately murdered an innocent woman.   Last August, Hillary Clinton warned that Trump was “taking a hate movement mainstream”—she could not have been more accurate. The disconcerting difference between her words then and Trump’s words yesterday is that he is mainstreaming that hate from the Oval Office—the nerve center of our government.  Republican lawmakers haven’t yet found the backbone to stand up for their country following a political moment that has rattled the nation and threatens to push us toward more violence. They are apparently content to condemn neo-Nazis but stand idly by as their commander in chief justifies neo-Nazi violence that takes innocent lives. Only one among them—John McCain, a bona fide war hero—had the guts to directly urge Trump to unequivocally denounce the racists. Perhaps when you’ve signed up to give your life for this country, when you’ve really pondered what it meant for all those men to rush the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, to near certain death, when you spend five years in a tiny cell fighting for another breath of freedom—the promise of that freedom for every American is precious enough to take a stand against evil even when it comes from within your own ranks. Paul Ryan, a lifelong politician, clearly knows nothing of that.  And then there’s Trump’s White House aides and administration officials. Unless they leave, they’re all complicit in his mainstreaming of hateful ideologies that, for centuries, have lynched and murdered with impunity in this country and abroad have systematically sought to eliminate entire ethnicities. The choice was crystal clear for some Republicans, like former RNC communications director Doug Heye. xAfter that Trump press conference, I don't know how I can tell any minority why they should vote Republican.— Doug Heye (@DougHeye) August 15, 2017 xI've asked the press offices at both the White House & RNC to remove me from their email lists.— Doug Heye (@DougHeye) August 15, 2017 If anyone inside Trump’s administration needs a reference point, that’s what an actual stand looks like. [...]



Trump takes his ball and goes home, disbands business advisory councils

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:22:35 +0000

Under increasing pressure, Trump’s best buddies—all the CEOs he hangs with and considers his peers—were getting ready to disband the White House advisory councils they sit on and save face. Because imagine being the last CEO to leave the group.  But the Donald has decided to pre-empt them. xRather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017 Remember just back to yesterday when he was attacking them as “grandstanders”? Now he’s quitting them before they can quit him. And he has to be absolutely enraged. These are his people who have completely abandoned him. The tweetstorm in the wee hours tomorrow morning will be epic. Now all he has is the white supremacists. And most of the Republican Congress. Wednesday, Aug 16, 2017 · 7:35:59 PM +00:00 · Joan McCarter Because of course. xWall Street Journal confirms CEO council decided to disband first, Trump tweeted he was disbanding them second. Ouch https://t.co/FuF9i09jR1— rosierifka (@rosierifka) August 16, 2017 [...]



Historians explain the difference between George Washington and Confederate monuments

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:59:45 +0000

Donald Trump thinks it’s a slippery slope from taking down statues of Confederate leaders like Robert E. Lee to taking down statues of Founding Fathers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson because they were slave owners. Donald Trump either does not understand or hopes we do not understand that there is a difference between someone who has a place in history because of his attempt to split the nation in a violent defense of slavery and someone who has a place in history because of his role in founding the nation, however much we abhor that he also enslaved people. The New York Times’ Jennifer Schuessler talked to some historians to explain the differences Trump is missing:

“This is not about the personality of an individual and his or her flaws,” [Harvard professor Annette Gordon-Reed] said. “This is about men who organized a system of government to maintain a system of slavery and to destroy the American union.”

As for the idea of erasing history, it’s a possibility that most scholars do not take lightly. But James Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, said that Mr. Trump’s comments failed to recognize the difference between history and memory, which is always shifting.

When you alter monuments, “you’re not changing history,” he said. “You’re changing how we remember history.”

And Donald Trump wants to remember history with Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson as heroes. Or at least, the white supremacist core of his base wants to remember it that way and Trump, ignorant and uncaring of history, is happy to see it their way—after all, if they like him and they like the Confederacy, that says something, right?

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Majority of CEOs seem to be okay associating with the racist White House

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:01:26 +0000

Campaign Action Five business and labor organizations have determined that associating officially with Donald Trump on his business advisory committees is a very bad idea. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and colleague Thea Lee, Kenneth Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck, Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, and Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing have left Trump’s advisory councils. That means that a majority of CEOs on the councils are either okay with their association with a man who refuses to renounce white supremacy, or they can't decide if they're okay with it. Or, in the case of Douglas McMillon, the CEO of Walmart, he is complaining internally but not going anywhere, despite Trump's attacks on his colleagues who have demonstrated a bit more spine. "As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists,” Douglas McMillon, the Walmart C.E.O., wrote in a letter to employees late Monday. […] The president hit back at his critics in the business world during a news conference at Trump Tower Tuesday. He spent several minutes lashing out at some of the most prominent executives in the country, saying that those who left his councils were "not taking their jobs seriously” and were "leaving out of embarrassment.” But it seems that a seat at the table is enough inducement for some to stick around. They have high expectations of this Republican president for their own bottom lines, after all. Inside boardrooms, leaders are torn between a desire to reduce regulatory burdens and wariness of appearing to support the administration, board members and crisis managers say. Wednesday, Aug 16, 2017 · 4:33:07 PM +00:00 · Joan McCarter One more out: Inge Thulin from 3M. xFull statement from 3M on their CEO’s resignation from Trump’s council pic.twitter.com/G5mbGPuxWN— Sam Stein (@samstein) August 16, 2017 Wednesday, Aug 16, 2017 · 5:07:04 PM +00:00 · Joan McCarter Campbell’s soup is out: xCampbell's statement, via @SaraEisen @CNBC $CPB pic.twitter.com/SCHupNHJi5— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) August 16, 2017 [...]



There is no such thing as a 'fine person' who goes along with racism and hate

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:20:17 +0000

The only surprising thing about Donald Trump’s furious defense of Nazis is how unsurprising it is. After all, this is the guy who didn’t want blacks touching his money because they’re inherently lazy … and because that’s what Jews are for. 

“The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. No one else.”

This is the guy who said Mexicans are rapists. They guy who maintained that a judge born in Indiana was still a Mexican who couldn’t be trusted—comments that Paul Ryan at the time called the “textbook definition” of racism. Donald Trump is a racist, a sexist, and a bigot. He hasn’t hidden that. 

Those who have supported Trump to this point can maintain they’re not racist all they want. They can even believe it. But they can’t deny that in supporting Trump they are supporting racism. 

When Donald Trump says …

“Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee.“

When he maintains that some people were marching among the torches, the threats, and the racist chants and were still “very fine people,” he’s only telling Trump supporters exactly what they always believed—you can go along with racism and violence, but it won’t wear off on you. You can lie down with Nazis, and still call yourself a good person. That’s what Trump is selling. It’s what they want to believe.

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Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine commanders publicly say what the president will not

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:12:09 +0000

One of the lead organizers of the Charlottesville white nationalist rally has been identified as a former Marine, one who apparently began leading his white nationalist organization while he was still in the U.S. Marine Corp. From CNN: The Military Times and the Guardian reported that former Marine recruiter Dillon Ulysses Hopper is the leader of Vanguard America -- a group which helped organize the "Unite the Right" protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent over the weekend. The Anti-Defamation League identified Hopper as the leader of Vanguard America, which ADL labels a "white supremacist" group, and said Hopper began leading the organization in "early 2016." According to Hopper's service records, he was a member of the Marine Corps from July 10, 2006 until January 30, 2017. If ADL is correct, that would mean he began leading the white nationalist group while still technically in the Marines. Terrorist James Fields Jr. was photographed holding a shield with the Vanguard America logo before he apparently made his way to his Dodge Challenger and drove at full speed into a crowd of counter protesters.  U.S. Marine Corp Commandant Robert Neller was quick to react to the news that one of their own is running a white nationalist organization. His response also seemed to counter Trump’s bizarre, hateful response to questions about Charlottesville.  xNo place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC. Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act.— Robert B. Neller (@GenRobertNeller) August 15, 2017 [...]



White House gives Republicans their talking points on Nazis: 'The president was entirely correct'

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:27:59 +0000

No wonder Republicans won’t name Donald Trump and call him out for defending white supremacists and neo-Nazis while assailing anti-racist counter-protesters. They have their marching orders direct from the White House. The Atlantic’s Molly Ball ran the official White House talking points on Trump’s bonkers Tuesday press conference, and the first line is the one that really matters:

The President was entirely correct -- both sides of the violence in Charlottesville acted inappropriately, and bear some responsibility.

The guy who drove the car into a crowd of counter-protesters bears responsibility for driving the car, and the people who got run over bear responsibility for not being able to dodge a fast-moving car, I guess.

The White House goes on:

Despite the criticism, the President reaffirmed some of our most important Founding principles: We are equal in the eyes of our Creator, equal under the law, and equal under our Constitution.

  • He has been a voice for unity and calm, encouraging the country to “rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that brings us together as Americans.”
  • He called for the end of violence on all sides so that no more innocent lives would be lost.

Yeah, sure he’s a voice for unity and calm. And that “rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty” thing—did he say that Tuesday, when he was speaking from his heart and in his own voice? Hell, no. He said that Monday, when he was giving a statement someone else wrote that he obviously did not want to be giving and that he essentially repudiated on Tuesday.

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Republicans need to name names—or name—if they want anti-white supremacy statements to count

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:02:52 +0000

A series of Republican members of Congress came out on Tuesday to say that white supremacists and neo-Nazis are bad. But the majority of them failed a simple test: they didn’t name Donald Trump. These Republicans weren’t just randomly condemning white supremacists on a Tuesday afternoon because of something white supremacists did that Tuesday afternoon. The main KKK-Nazi action happened over the weekend, and denunciations of that activity itself would have and should have come then. Over the weekend. No, the reason Republicans felt moved on Tuesday afternoon to say, as House Speaker Paul Ryan did, that “White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity” is because Donald Trump, their party’s president, who has their support, stood up and said otherwise. But Ryan didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t say Trump’s name. He needed to be condemning Trump’s support of white supremacists, not just issuing a pro-forma “Nazis are bad” statement. Ryan was joined in this particular hall of spineless shame by too many of his Republican colleagues. North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis: “When it comes to white supremacists & neo-nazis, there can be no equivocating: they’re propagators of hate and bigotry. Period.” Gosh, Thom, who equivocated? Indiana Sen. Todd Young: “This is simple: we must condemn and marginalize white supremacist groups, not encourage and embolden them.” Gosh, Todd, who encouraged and emboldened them? House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “Saturday’s violence and tragic loss of life was a direct consequence of the violent and hateful rhetoric and action from white supremacists in Charlottesville. Race-based supremacy movements have no place in our melting pot culture and do not reflect the ideals enshrined in our Constitution that treats and respects every American equally.” Again, Kevin Kevin Kevin. Why are you talking about Saturday on Tuesday? What happened on Tuesday to prompt this statement? Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Mike Coffman (R-CO) had similar things to say. And they failed to say the exact same thing. Is it impossible to get this one right? No, plenty of Democrats did it. Just for instance: Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy: “Just stopped on roadside to read @POTUS remarks. I nearly threw up. An American President offering a defense of white supremicists. My god.” Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden: “Off prompter and in his own words, the president gives comfort to white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Absolutely horrifying.”   Wednesday, Aug 16, 2017 · 2:35:14 PM +00:00 · Laura Clawson Another profile in … not courage. xMcConnell: "There are no good neo-[...]



Cartoon: What gets Trump mad

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:51:09 +0000

Follow me on Twitter at @MattBors or like my Facebook page. New: check out the new animated political cartoons I’m making.

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'What do we do when DACA is under attack? Fight back': Immigrant youth and allies lead day of action

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:33:46 +0000

Undocumented youth and allies in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, Washington, D.C., and across the nation rallied in defense of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), two immigration programs that protect over 1,000,000 immigrants from deportation—and two immigration programs at risk due to Donald Trump and other anti-immigrant extremists. In Washington, D.C., Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), former NAACP leader Ben Jealous, community leader Gustavo Torres, and immigrant rights activists were arrested at a demonstration in front of the White House, where they were attempting to stage a sit-in. “They were all citizens, and they were there getting arrested symbolically for DACA recipients,” said Douglas Rivlin, Congressman Gutiérrez communications director.  “There were no DACA recipients in the group, or TPS holders in the group. But the message was: We’re getting arrested on behalf of your families. We’re making our point. We’re standing up and we’re sitting in, for TPS and for DACA.” In Texas, immigrant youth and allies chanted “The community united, will never be divided!” and led a demonstration in the state that has become ground zero in the fight to continue DACA, locking arms in front of the office of the extremist and legally-beleaguered state Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the fight to end the program.  “I hope to sit in solidarity and to fight in solidarity with DACAmented—and unDACAmented—loved ones, peers, mentors, in my life, and their families, and their communities,” said Chris, an organizer with immigrant youth organization United We Dream Houston. “In Washington, D.C., in the great state of Texas, everywhere in the United States, who are fighting back against the racist and anti-immigrant, the transphobic and queerphobic, the misogynistic, the ableist people in power in Texas and show them that we’re the ones who have the power. We are going to reclaim this state in the name of justice.” [...]



GOP on the brink: Embrace Nazis or reject Trump

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:58:21 +0000

In what was certainly the most astounding White House session of this century, and a good candidate for all time champ, Donald Trump determined that Nazis, and people who fight Nazis, are morally equivalent. And the Nazis loved it.

“Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth,” David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, wrote in a Twitter post shortly after Mr. Trump spoke.

Trump isn’t backing away from his support of genuine swastika-wearing, torch-waving “Heil Trump” shouting Nazis. In fact, he’s determined that it’s time for everyone else to put on their jackboots or get out. He’s brought Republicans to a decision point where they can hold onto Trump or a modicum of the American ideal. But not both.

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Republicans can attempt to salvage their dignity, and search for a remaining scrap of decency, denounce Trump, and work to repair the damage already done to America in the few months of the Trump regime. Or they can embrace Trumpism—complete with racism, violence, and full-on Nazis—and get on with talking about tax breaks for billionaires.

And … that elephant logo was getting old anyway, and they already did like red.

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