Wednesday, August 16, 2017

For any of those still telling themselves that the marchers in Charlottesville were not White Supremacists there to incite violence, you should take a moment to watch this amazing footage from the folks at Vice, who were there since the beginning.

(Warning some of the language in this video is NSFW.)

Courtesy of Mother Jones:

A 22-minute documentary released Monday on HBO’s Vice News Tonight offers a chilling look behind the battle lines in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, with a reporter who embedded with some of the white supremacists who engaged in the violence that ended in the death of one counter-protester and two state troopers. The video has already received nearly 7 million views in the last 17 hours on Facebook. 

“Charlottesville: Race and Terror,” follows Christopher Cantwell, an unabashed white supremacist who spews racist invective while traveling around with a band of neo-Nazis. Cantwell is a prominent “alt-right” shock jock who came to Charlottesville to speak at the “United the Right” rally. In the documentary, Cantwell and a posse of assorted white supremacists speak forcefully about the warped theories underpinning what they consider to be an impending and inevitable race war.
 
Yesterday Donald Trump attempted to excuse the behavior of these people, and to suggest that the media was not being "fair" to them.

And they are now showing their appreciation for that.

Courtesy of TPM:

White supremacist leader Richard Spencer asserted Monday that President Donald Trump wasn’t being “serious” when he denounced hate groups by name, two days after blaming “many sides” for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

“The statement today was more kumbaya nonsense,” Spencer said at a press conference. “You can say racism is evil; we should all love one another; the sun should always shine, seven days a week; everyone should be above average; everyone should be a wonderful athlete; everyone should love each other. It’s just silliness.” 

“It’s not serious, and I don’t think anyone takes it seriously, including the President,” he added.

That attitude has emboldened these groups to plan even more White Supremacist marches.

And while making those plans they are aggressively going after their perceived enemies.

Courtesy of Raw Story: 

Logan Smith, the 30-year-old man behind the @YesYoureRacist Twitter account, has been receiving death threats for his work exposing the identities of people who attended the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville this past weekend.

“I have been receiving death threats for the past 20 hours or so,” Smith, 30, said in a phone interview. “They have been threatening my family, too. The overall response of course has been 99 percent positive, but there’s always that extremely small but extremely loud and extremely angry minority that bites back… There’s a lot of them – and they are mad.”

“These people aren’t afraid anymore,” he said. “They’re not hiding behind their hoods like they did before the civil rights era. They are out and proud. I think if they are so proud of their beliefs and proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with neo-Nazis and KKK members and white supremacists of all stripes, then I think their communities need to know who they are.”

It has been pointed out by a number of commentators that while these folks seem upset that folks like Logan Smith are working to identify them by name, they are the ones who feel emboldened enough to march around without their hoods.

So what did they expect?

And soon they will all get the recognition they deserve, because Illinois just passed a measure identifying the Neo-Nazis as a terrorist organization, and I have a feeling that other states may soon follow suit.

Will things get worse before they get better?

Oh yeah.

But ultimately things WILL get better.

I think.

Newsweek is totally slut shaming Donald Trump.

Courtesy of Newsweek: 

The collapse of the Trump-Putin mutual admiration society—potentially the world’s most politically important relationship—is a story of unrealistic Russian hopes, badly-thought-out U.S. gestures and the Kremlin’s misguided attempts to interfere in American democracy. Putin believed Trump was a man with whom he could do business, a pragmatist willing to overlook Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and warmongering in eastern Ukraine; someone who would allow the Kremlin a free hand in exchange for Russian support against terrorism. Trump had long admired Putin’s authoritarian leadership and envied his dictator-like approval ratings. On the campaign trail, he also had viewed praising Putin as a useful, if minor, tool in his arsenal of anti-Clinton invective. “I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin,” Trump said in September 2016. “And I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia.”

Both men were very wrong.

Newsweek then reminds us that before Vladimir Putin wanted to go steady with Donnie boy that he was totally fixated on destroying that bitch Hillary Clinton.

So Putin sent his little internet ninjas in to hack, phish, and gather as much dirt on the popular girl that they could.

During that enterprise Putin noticed a certain special someone, and it was on like Donkey Kong.

The Kremlin’s love-in with Trump began in earnest after Super Tuesday, March 1, 2016, after he unexpectedly won seven states in the Republican primaries. Russia’s state-controlled media began talking him up as a pro-Russian maverick who admired Putin. “We never believed that the U.S. establishment would ever allow [Trump] to win,” recalls a senior Russian TV anchor and well-known Kremlin propagandist, who asked for anonymity when discussing the evolution of his show’s political position. “But it looked like this man was interested in a deal. He seemed like someone who wanted to break down Washington’s clich├ęs about Russia.… Basically he looked like he could be nash —our kind of guy.” Kremlin-controlled TV, along with its foreign-language mouthpieces RT and the Sputnik news agencies, began spinning the line that Trump was a fan of Putin and an enemy of a supposedly Russia-hating Washington establishment. Meanwhile, on the dark side, Russian hackers began creating bots to boost Trump’s Twitter numbers—whether on the Kremlin’s orders or not hasn’t been proved—and retweeting anti-Clinton memes like #crookedhillary. “Trump has said that he does not want to impose the American will on other sovereign nations,” Vyacheslav Nikonov, head of the Duma’s Committee on Education, told Newsweek at the time. “That’s a world which I welcome.”

Many Russians were thrilled by Trump’s fondness for their supreme leader. As early as October 2007, Trump told CNN’s Larry King that Putin was “doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period.” In 2013, when Trump brought the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow, he wondered in a tweet if Putin would “become my new best friend.” (Trump also falsely claimed that he had met Putin during his visit.) And in December 2015, on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Trump defended the Russian leader against allegations he had ordered the killings of journalists by retorting that “our country does plenty of killing also.” Most attractive to Russians was Trump’s often-repeated insistence on the same kind of machismo that forms the basis of Putin’s cult of personality. "I don't think [Putin] has any respect for Clinton,” Trump said in July 2016. “I think he respects me."

Yes, because the player always respects the booty call, right dumbass?

But just like Ross and Rachel, Sam and Diane, and the Captain and Tennille a happily ever after was simply not in the cards.

It was Congress that finally ended any chance of a Trump-Putin reset on July 25, when both chambers overwhelmingly passed a bill enshrining Barack Obama’s economic sanctions against Moscow into law, recommending even more sanctions against Russia’s energy sector and forbidding the president from easing them without congressional approval. The law struck at the very thing on which the Kremlin had hung its hopes—Trump’s authority to create his own Russia policy. Top officials in Moscow were quick to grasp that Congress had effectively neutered the president, at least as far as the Kremlin was concerned.

“Trump’s administration has demonstrated total impotence by surrendering its executive authority to Congress in the most humiliating way,” wrote Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in a Facebook post. “The U.S. establishment fully outwitted Trump.… The hope that our relations with the new American administration would improve is finished.” Or as Sergei Zheleznyak, deputy chair of the Duma’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, tells Newsweek , “Trump is no longer in charge. What is there for Putin to talk about with him? What is the point of talking to Tillerson if he comes to us, when [Putin] knows that [Trump] cannot remove sanctions?”

And just like that the Trump-Putin bromance hit the skids.

No more late night phone calls, no more staying up to all hours doing each other's hair, no more text messages bashing Hillary to each other during work hours.

Putin bet that Trump was finally the one, but as he and his followers have come to learn, he is just a reality show clown whose entire persona is made up of carefully crafted bullshit held together with good old American gullibility.

Like many famous sitcom relationships that have come before, there will likely be multiple attempts to rekindle the magic, but with so many eyes (Including those belonging to investigators and prosecutors) focused on what happens next it is unlikely that Putin and Trump will be riding off into any sunsets together.

But fear not Donnie, because history will surely remember that you were once Putin's little bitch and that ultimately, when you were no longer of any use, he unceremoniously cast you aside like a used condom.

The DOJ is trying to gain access to the personal information of the visitors to a website that organized anti-Trump protests. Uh oh.

Courtesy of DreamHost:  

For the past several months, DreamHost has been working with the Department of Justice to comply with legal process, including a Search Warrant seeking information about one of our customers’ websites. 

At the center of the requests is disruptj20.org, a website that organized participants of political protests against the current United States administration. While we have no insight into the affidavit for the search warrant (those records are sealed), the DOJ has recently asked DreamHost to provide all information available to us about this website, its owner, and, more importantly, its visitors.

DreamHost goes on to explain that, like many online service providers they receive requests from the government to help them identify criminals and other ne'er do wells quite regularly. (They also reject a number of them.)

However this is different.  

The request from the DOJ demands that DreamHost hand over 1.3 million visitor IP addresses — in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people — in an effort to determine who simply visited the website. (Our customer has also been notified of the pending warrant on the account.) 

That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.

This is, in our opinion, a strong example of investigatory overreach and a clear abuse of government authority.

Is THIS what Jeff Sessions is dong to keep this country safe? 

Investigating people who simply visit a site that promotes peaceful protests?

How's that investigation into the White Supremacists who beat counter protesters and ran down a young woman going Mr. Attorney General?

 Or is all of your time being used up with pursuing your boss's adversaries?

New poll shows Donald Trump's approval rating as even lower than the last poll, but probably better than the next poll.

I don't do numbers, is that bad?
Courtesy of Gallup:

President Donald Trump's job approval rating in Gallup Daily tracking is at 34% for the three-day period from Friday through Sunday -- by one point the lowest of his administration so far. 

It is difficult to pinpoint the precise cause of the new low rating, but the changes were apparent on Friday, with his day-by-day ratings near 34% across Saturday and Sunday as well. Trump has consistently been in the news over the past week, including the continued focus on North Korea, even while taking a working vacation at one of his golf properties in New Jersey. The events in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in the deaths of a 32-year-old woman and two Virginia State Police officers dominated news coverage on Saturday and Sunday. Trump's prior three-day low reading was 35%, registered March 26-28. 

From a broader perspective, Trump's rating of 36% for the week ending Aug. 13 was also by one point his lowest on a weekly basis. The president has talked in recent days about doing well with his "base," but Republicans' latest weekly approval rating of 79% was the lowest from his own partisans so far, dropping from the previous week's 82%. Democrats gave Trump a 7% job approval rating last week, while the reading for independents was at 29%. This is the first time independents' weekly approval rating for Trump has dropped below 30%.

If someone were selling stock options on Donald Trump right now you could buy about a dozen shares with whatever change you could find under your sofa cushions.

Gallup goes on to say that Trump's approval ratings are not the lowest in presidential history, but since this is only a little way into his first term I think we know that they will be breaking all records in the very near future.

Fox News being put in its place.

Kind of like the gun store that sold bullets to the murderer asking for crime scene photos so that they can promote their business.

It's just ugly. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Donald Trump defends White Nationalists and claims that the "Alt-Left" started the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

(The Nazi support starts around the 7:10 mark.)

 Courtesy of the New York Times:

President Trump angrily defended himself on Tuesday against criticism that he did not specifically condemn Nazi and white supremacist groups following the weekend’s deadly racial unrest in Virginia, and at one point questioned whether the movement to pull down statues of Confederate leaders would escalate to the desecration of George Washington. 

In a long, combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the president repeatedly rejected a torrent of bipartisan criticism for waiting several days before naming the right-wing groups and placing blame on “many sides” for the violence on Saturday that ended with the death of a young woman after a car crashed into a crowd. 

He said that “before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.” 

And he criticized “alt-left” groups that he claimed were “very, very violent” when they sought to confront the nationalist and Nazi groups that had gathered in Charlottesville, Va., to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park. He said there is “blame on both sides.” 

“Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Mr. Trump said. “This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” 

He noted that the first American president had owned slaves. 

Mr. Trump defended those gathered in the Charlottesville park to protest the statue’s removal, saying, “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”

(Uh..that was a white nationalist protest march. Of course they were white nationalists.)


Again and again, Mr. Trump said that the portrayal of nationalist protesters in the city were not all Nazis or white supremacists, and he said it was unfair to suggest that they were. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. 

Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch,” he said, adding that blame for the violence in the city – which also took the lives of two Virginia state troopers when their helicopter crashed – should also be on people from “the left” who came to oppose the nationalist protesters. 

“You had a group on one side and the other, and they came at each other with clubs, and it was vicious and horrible. It was a horrible thing to watch,” the president said. “There is another side. There was a group on this side, you can call them the left. You have just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. You can say what you want. That’s the way it is.”

You know I often talk about watching Donald Trump speak with my jaw hanging on the floor in disbelief.

And that is certainly how I watched this.

Trump's attempts to blame the counter protesters and suggest that THEY were the ones who started the violence was, simply put, stunning.

He provided cover for the neo-Nazis, Klan members, and White Supremacists who beat peaceful protesters and murdered a young woman.
And clearly they both heard and appreciated that.

Day after white supremacist runs down and kills female protester Donald Trump retweets cartoon of train running over CNN reporter.

Courtesy of TPM: 

President Donald Trump retweeted a cartoon showing a metaphorical “Trump Train” ramming a cartoon person topped with a CNN logo on Tuesday morning. 

The cartoon was as an ill-timed jab at the news network just three days after a woman was killed after a car barreled into counter-protesters at a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

But before everybody gets all bent out of shape, you should know there's an excuse:  

An unnamed White House official later told NBC’s Kristen Welker that Trump had “inadvertently posted” the graphic, and that it was “immediately deleted” once noticed.

I didn't say it was a GOOD excuse.

So Donald Trump tweets and retweets terrible, incendiary things while his staff, who are too ashamed to use their real names, tries to cover for him with the press.

Who are often the subject of his tweets and retweets.

That about right?

Donald Trump accuses CNN of spreading fake news, CNN reporter returns the favor.

Courtesy of The Hill:

Trump made a statement earlier today said that “racism is evil” and specifically criticized the KKK, Nazis and other groups that organized the rally for the first time. But he did not take questions from reporters, despite later calling it a "press conference." 

At a second announcement later in the day, Trump said he is launching an investigation into China’s trade practices. 

As that announcement ended, Acosta asked Trump if reporters could ask him questions about his remarks on Charlottesville. 

“It doesn’t bother me at all, but I like real news, not fake news,” Trump said, pointing at Acosta. “You’re fake news.” 

“Haven’t you spread a lot of fake news yourself, sir?” Acosta shot back. Trump ignored the question and exited the room.

Yes! That was EXACTLY what needs to happen!

Trump calls every news agency that dares to reveal his lies and poor policy decisions as "fake news" while virtually everything that he says is bullshit.

I am not always happy with CNN, but Jim Acosta has some serious balls and has been going after Trump and his spokespeople like rabid rottweiler.

And I think other journalists need to get a little of that mad dog attitude as well.

So it turns out that another Trump campaign worker tried super hard to arrange another one of those pesky meetings with the Russians. This one included Vladimir Putin.

Remember, all Russia meetings have to go through me.
Courtesy of the Washington Post:  

Three days after Donald Trump named his campaign foreign policy team in March 2016, the youngest of the new advisers sent an email to seven campaign officials with the subject line: “Meeting with Russian Leadership - Including Putin.” 

The adviser, George Papadopoulos, offered to set up “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump,” telling them his Russian contacts welcomed the opportunity, according to internal campaign emails read to The Washington Post. 

The proposal sent a ripple of concern through campaign headquarters in Trump Tower. Campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis wrote that he thought NATO allies should be consulted before any plans were made. Another Trump adviser, retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, cited legal concerns, including a possible violation of U.S. sanctions against Russia and of the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from unauthorized negotiation with foreign governments. 

But Papadopoulos, a campaign volunteer with scant foreign policy experience, persisted. Between March and September, the self-described energy consultant sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump, as he turned from primary candidate to party nominee, or for members of his team to meet with Russian officials. Among those to express concern about the effort was then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who rejected in May 2016 a proposal from Papadopoulos for Trump to do so.

Not at all surprising that Manafort was the one who put the kibosh on this meeting since clearly this Papadopoulos fellow was acting as if everybody knew that Trump was Putin's little bitch and was not keeping all of this Russia meeting stuff on the DL. 

According to the Post these exchanges were found among 20,000 emails that were turned over to the congressional committees investigating Trump's connections with Russia.

So clearly it appears that Jeff Sessions has not stopped any of the leaks, and it also appears that neither a White Supremacist riot nor a potential war with North Korea is going to distract the media from what will likely be the biggest story of the decade.

That's certainly good to know.

Alex Jones is launching a website to fight fake news. No, I am NOT kidding.

Courtesy of HuffPo: 

If you’re wondering what the site’s goals are, you’ll have to stay on the homepage long enough to see their various taglines. Changing every few seconds, the taglines appear to be the following: 

“Battling tyranny worldwide” 
“Rebooting America...” 
“Restoring the 2nd Amendment” 
“Making America Free Again” 
“Chronicling/Documenting the fall of globalism” 
“Republics thrive in the light” 
“Truth explodes in the light” 
“Battling corrupt elites worldwide” 
“Tyranny dies in the light” 

The fact that the site was launched by Alex “they’re turning the friggin’ frogs gay” Jones gives these dramatic slogans a bit of a different tone. 

Alex Jones starting a site to battle "fake news" is kind of like a pedophile starting a home for abused children.

But remember, now that Trump is in office up is now down, black is now white, and facts are for sissy liberal snowflakes.

(BTW Jones also claims that the Nazis photographed in Charlottesville are just Jewish actors playing dress up.)

Alaska Dispatch files for bankruptcy and falls into teabagger hands, essentially at the same time.

Courtesy of Alaska Dispatch:

Alaska's largest newspaper filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Saturday evening and new owners — an Alaska family that made its fortune hauling freight and tourists on the Yukon River and its tributaries, and a company that owns rural newspapers in the state — have been lined up. 

In a prepared statement Saturday, Alaska Dispatch News LLC owner Alice Rogoff, who also has served as publisher, said it was a "truly bittersweet" moment for her, though she is relieved the newspaper will live on under new ownership. Her four-paragraph prepared statement didn't name the new owners, though the group interested in buying the paper issued a statement Saturday. 

"We've worked hard to help illuminate the issues of our day and provide a platform for points of view from across Alaska," Rogoff said Saturday. "Yet like newspapers everywhere, the struggle to make ends meet financially eventually caught up with us. I simply ran out of my ability to subsidize this great news product. Financial realities can't be wished away."

I have not really been paying a whole lot of attention to the Dispatch these days so I have mixed feelings about this.

What I am not so mixed about is who the paper is being sold to.

The potential buyers, working together, are a company composed of siblings Ryan Binkley, Wade Binkley, James Binkley and Kai Binkley Sims, as well as Alaska Media LLC, which owns three rural Alaska newspapers. The group is led by Ryan Binkley and Alaska Media owner Jason Evans, according to a statement the group issued Saturday. Former Anchorage Daily News publisher Jerry Grilly, who retired as president and CEO of the Denver Post in 2012, is a consultant to the group, Ryan Binkley said.

These Binkley siblings are the children of former state senator John Binkley, a hard core teabagger who ran interference for Sarah Palin during the Troopergate fiasco.

Okay so people will likely say that just because the dad is a Right Wing douchebag does not mean that the kids have the same political outlook.

Sure, but this buy out is costing millions, and I am fairly certain that big daddy still controls the purse strings. Especially for s purchase this large.

Add to that the fact that Papa Binkley is seriously talking about running for governor of Alaska, and suddenly this seems like a Trumpian move to establish a propaganda outlet for Right Wing views and positive coverage of a preferred candidate.

Or hey, maybe I'm wrong and this is completely on the up and up.

(P.S. I'm not wrong.)

Laughingstock of the world.

I'll bet that most of you knew who I was talking about in that headline without even having to look at the actual post.

THAT is because we all realize the guy in the White House is universally seen as a clown and that every day he spends in office is damaging our credibility as a country.