Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Midnight Meme Of The Day


-by Noah

The Fashion Dreams Of Donald J. Trump; all made in China, of course.

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Running For Office-- On Marijuana Legalization... In Red States


Mike Ward was an extraordinarily progressive congressman from Louisville, Kentucky and later Associate Director of the Peace Corps. His mom, Lukey Ward, had been the day-to-day manager of the Kentucky chapter of Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference. It's a good family to be from and Mike's son, Jasper Ward, is an attorney in Louisville who, with his wife, is working on Legalize Kentucky Now... "legalize" as in marijuana. I like his perspective and asked him to write a guest post about what he's trying to do with this-- in a state that that went for Trump last year 1,202,971 (62.5%) to 628,854 (32.7%). Hillary didn't even campaign there-- a state that her husband had won both times he ran. But Democrats should never give up on states like Kentucky.

Green Wave
-by Jasper Ward

This waking nightmare that is America in 2017 is a disaster caused not just by President Trump, or even the criminal enterprise that is the Republican Party. Yes, Democrats share plenty of blame here, and 8 years of Obama in the White House covered up massive losses at the state and local level, like in my home state of Kentucky.

Democrats here managed to actually implement a popular health care program that drastically improved the lives of a lot of Kentucky voters, and then steadfastly refused to admit it on the campaign trail. Alison Lundergan Grimes famously refused to even cop to voting for Obama, which helped her with precisely no voters and lost her plenty of others. Now Republicans control the Governor’s mansion and both state houses for the first time in forever, and are going about ruining the lives of the people who put them in when they aren’t too busy going after trial lawyers and unions.

And who can blame them? Our esteemed Sen. Mitch McConnell has taught them that they should seek power for power’s sake, and then deftly manage using that power to reward contributors but not so much that you don’t have a reason to keep extorting money from them for the next cycle. It’s exhausting and depressing seeing how much bad Republicans can do in Kentucky and in Washington in such a short amount of time, and how hard it is to undo it.

Back to the Democrats. My God, the Democrats. I’m no stranger to Democratic politics, having worked as an intern and low-level staffer for the Gore campaign in Nashville, research director for Don Siegelman in Alabama in 2002, and then for various campaigns thereafter both as a staffer and wearing the dreaded “consultant” hat. Watching them steal Florida from Gore, Alabama from Siegelman (and then put him in jail on trumped up charges for good measure) and Democrats lose race after race from 2003 to the present, I come by my cynicism and despair honestly.

There are very few silver linings in the constant ongoing disaster that has befallen America. One that keeps me going is that there is a single issue that Republicans have handed Democrats on a silver platter, and the rise of wonderful non-DCCC fundraising and energy-challenging websites like this one means there are more candidates out there who might be willing to actually accept this wondrous gift. That issue is cannabis legalization, more commonly referred to as medical marijuana.

For Democrats to actually change America for the better, it is not enough to just get rid of Trump and the GOP Congressional majority. There must also be some sort of actual policy success in the 2019 or 2021 sessions. And while minimum wage, Medicare For All, postal banking, and trying to undo the damage of Trump are good progressive priorities, there is not one issue that affects so many people and so many other issues as marijuana legalization.

So my theory is this: Democratic candidates running in 2018 should run as “single issue” candidates whose sole issue is legalization, and ride this green wave to a majority with a mandate to actually legalize marijuana nationwide. And then actually legalize it. Because this is not really a single issue, it’s a way to talk about a number of other issues that most red state voters just won’t listen to Democrats talk about anymore. Here is why I think medical marijuana is the best possible issue for Democratic candidates to run on in 2018.

It’s The Right Thing To Do

Obviously legalization is the right thing to do. That’s always a good starting place for a revolution.

Legalization Cuts Across Democratic Factions

There’s a good reason there is no consistent Democratic economic message: the party leadership is influenced by big money and the economic ideas and interests of rich folk, if not to the extent of Republicans, at least sufficiently enough to prevent things like Medicare for All, high frequency trading taxes or similar Wall Street-focused revenue raisers, minimum wage increases and other basic working class progressive ideas. Even if we get majorities in Congress, I fear getting more “art of the possible” language coming from the leadership as half-measures and Rube Goldberg public-private partnership machines pass by a few votes. Honestly, if you are a Democrat running in a red district in Kentucky or statewide in Alabama, what can you offer voters from an economic standpoint that would cause them to even give you 10 seconds attention, much less their vote?

Legalization cuts across this dynamic. The big money against legalization is the big money that generally speaking all but a few Democrats aren’t hooked on: opioid drug makers and distributors, private prison conglomerates, the FOP/right-wing police organizations. As a pure economic message, legalization is an actual jobs creation program that would sell across the party, and there are few issues that check that box.

From a civil rights, personal freedom and racial politics standpoint, this issue can help heal the wounds from 2016 and ongoing coastal v. heartland democratic outposts like my hometown of Louisville, allowing Democratic leaders to talk about civil rights in an expansionary and proactive way, and not just defending rights from Trump and the rest of the GOP or trying to have it both ways on issues like police brutality.

Legalization, the Opioid Crisis and Rural America

Where does economic growth come from in the 21st Century? Do any Democrats have actual ideas for this? We know Republicans don’t yet somehow they are the ones that talk about economic growth and people believe them. If you are a Democrat, how do you expand persuadable voters in the red state districts and states that we need to actually take back Congress? How about an issue that would be just as beneficial for rural America as it would for people everywhere else?

Of the many, many “how did we get here?” thinkpieces post-Trump, the despair from the towns and counties across America ravaged by the loss of manufacturing jobs, the rise of the opioid crisis and the lack of any real long-term policy answer rang the most to me. Lost in the day to day personal lies and awfulness, Trump was able to close the campaign by lying constantly about policy and promising the moon to people, and damned if they didn’t vote for him based on the hope that at least he’d try to do something about opioids.

Legalization actually does something. The connection between medical marijuana for chronic pain and the reduction in opioids is a real phenomenon. Trump will likely make the opioid epidemic worse, or at least do nothing so that it gets worse on its own. Talking about legalization as a specific policy promise to fight opioids is both true and lets Democrats at least try to talk to communities that are hurting.

Finally, farmers, farming communities and small towns, will have to replace the economic bump they are getting from national reporters identifying every single Trump voter and interviewing them for newspaper articles. Growing, processing and distributing marijuana can take place in areas that don’t have another potential growth industry, unless they discover bitcoins in the hills of Eastern Kentucky or rural Ohio.

Legalization and New Ideas

There are a number of other policy issues that legalization effects and that Democrats have no ability to talk about to white voters in red states without looking like they are just trying to Sister Souljah-virtue signal their way to the top. Crime is an easy example: it’s not just dumb marijuana arrests, it’s the pretext stops, the probation revocation, the random drug tests for people on parole, the overcrowding of prisons, and all of the other nonsense hassles that criminalization puts (disproportionately African-American) citizens through. And cutting off easy money for drug dealers will actually reduce crime: making marijuana illegal increases illegal drug sales because you have to have a drug dealer to get it, and drug dealers can use horizontal marketing to leverage pot customers into increased sales of harder drugs.

The next time I hear a Democrat say they aren’t just “tough on crime, but smart on crime” the next words out of her mouth better be “legalize marijuana” or that politician has not gotten one new red state white voter and has probably alienated plenty of Democratic voters who might as well stay home.

Talking about legalization and legalization only helps Democratic candidates run on a message, instead of running on their own biography. Democratic candidates time and again lose elections because they make it about themselves and how much they want everyone to like them and how great they are. Republican candidates are fungible and easy to replace and all look alike and own a small insurance business back home; they are simply the messengers, the less interesting the better.

Because the message is not just about legalization, jobs, civil rights and opioids. The message can easily be this: “I’m a candidate who has strong beliefs and actual, honest-to-goodness new ideas. Legalization is so obviously good for everyone, but the current generation of elected officials still won’t do it. What other obvious solutions are they ignoring and blocking? The leadership of both parties have spent the last 2 decades presiding over multiple disastrous wars, deregulating everything and crashing the world economy, increasing income inequality to unsustainable levels, and handing over control of government to a handful of psychotic billionaires. The last election was ultimately a choice between someone promising orderly and responsible management over the decline of America and someone who specifically promised to set everything on fire and loot the treasury. Legalization is the exact opposite of more of the same.” Maybe too long for a bumper sticker, but you could fit that into a 30 second ad.


Democrats, especially in red districts and red states, can run against Trump in 2018, can run on the ideals of democracy and other high-purpose sounding messages that appeal to people’s better natures. Some may pull off a surprise, but more likely than not, they will run really cool ads that go viral on Twitter and raise a bunch of money that they can pay their consultants and then lose by 5-10 points in 15-20 point GOP advantage districts. That’s the safe play, and I understand why people do it.

There’s another option though. Louisville’s own Hunter S. Thompson wrote the wave speech looking back, seeing the crest and the aftermath. He earned his cynicism and depression too. I may be crazy, but I can see a green wave building across this country. Hopefully there are enough Democrats who see it too, and who are willing to hop on and ride it until it crests.

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Serious Candidate


-by John Wiesen,
Master Sergeant (ret), U.S. Air Force
co-chair, Texas Indivisible 20

Some claim the weak and hollow Texas Democratic party has put forward no serious candidate for governor and is therefore irrelevant. It is true that no establishment Democrat apparently has the will to step up and challenge the deep pockets and shrill right-wing constituency of the current governor. Perhaps the Democratic establishment will produce some candidate palatable to their big donors and sporting a moderate label. But that is not a candidate the people want, and that is not a candidate who can win. The people want a person with conviction, a person that will make a progressive populist case as a governor, who will enforce labor laws, help workers get a living wage, and who will not be bought off by developers, pharmaceutical companies and fossil fuel interests. There IS a serious Democratic candidate, a candidate who has the courage of his convictions, who is not beholden to the donor class, and who is a full throated progressive populist. His name is Tom Wakely.

Over one month after Tom announced his run for governor, the Texas Democratic Party still seems unaware of or uninterested in this fact. Even though Tom has the support of progressives and activists across Texas, the state party is offering no support or even acknowledgement of the only candidate that is actively campaigning to replace Greg Abbott as governor. With November’s disasterous election we haven’t a moment to lose in fighting to reclaim our democracy through the ballot box. We can’t wait for the Democratic Party to ride to the rescue bearing the worn-out ideas of an establishment unable to see that it is long past time for a new strategy. Have they learned nothing from the catastrophe of having lost multiple statehouse seats and winning no statewide office in over 20 years? Are they committed to endlessly repeating its same old ways of trying to win few Republicans over with weak, small bore policy prescriptions that really help no one? If the well-known Democrats are too afraid to run out of fear for their own political skins, even now when it is most needed, what good are they? The Texas Democratic Party may have given up on the governorship, but Tom hasn’t. Governor Abbott has enabled and abetted an extreme right-wing takeover of our government, and Tom is stepping in with a clear, strong, progressive alternative to Abbott’s authoritarian rule.

Many in the current Democratic party leadership are apparently fearful of, and hostile to candidates who work for the empowerment of a new constituency outside of the old guard. They would rather maintain their current power base, please their big donors and power brokers and keep things as they are. They smear those asking for accountability in candidates and elected officials, calling them "purists," as if demanding that a candidate work for the common people’s rights, freedoms and equality is somehow wrong. They are timid, suspicious of the raw power of the progressive renewal embraced by Bernie Sanders, a movement which is gaining strength day by day. Activists are speaking out, visible rallying in the streets, in congressional offices, and in cities and neighborhoods around Texas and across the nation. They are demanding that the government speak to the people, listen to the people, and threat them fairly. They demand that we think big to solve big problems, and stretch the realm of what we believe is possible. They know that Texas is not a really a red state but is a non-voting state, and the energy coming from newly formed progressive groups is hard at work registering thousands of new voters and challenging long held beliefs about what works.

Goal ThermometerTom has spent the last month crisscrossing the Texas, meeting with labor leaders, activists and progressive groups. Tom is speaking to the growing Hispanic population in Texas, and to the young people of our state. These are the very people that will have to be energized and engaged if our government is to be taken back to a path toward full democracy by and for the people. Tom’s campaign is growing from the bottom up, a coalition built with grassroots support and small donations. He is listening to and championing the cause of the common person. Tom is going to neglected places, talking to those Texans under economic siege, and is forming a populist force to be reckoned with. The power is now shifting from moneyed donors to a new breed of activists who are energized, willing to sacrifice to save our democracy, to knock on doors, and to fight for the progressive cause and convince voters they too can make a difference. Progressives are organizing for one purpose, to bring power back to the people. Tom understands and is a part of this movement. His message is that freedom, fairness and prosperity for all are values worth fighting for. Nothing less will do than empowering voters, engaging them and giving them a say and a stake in their own government. These are the people who will transform our state, and with their help, elect Tom Wakely as the next governor of Texas.

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Michigan-- Senator Kid Rock? I Wouldn't Count On It


Earlier today we looked at the results of the Marist poll for NBC News in Wisconsin. I didn't mean to slight Michigan. Much of the attention the Michigan poll got was because it shows some kind of viability for possible GOP Senate candidate Kid Rock.

NBC News' Carrie Dann asked in a provocative headline whether Kid Rock is popular enough in Michigan to win, referring to him as "the provocative musician who calls himself the 'Pimp of the Nation' and peppers his lyrics and political rhetoric with unprintable language." The poll found Kid Rock's popularity ratings aren't in line with other Michigan political figures. Hasn't that poor state suffered enough?

Shockingly, Trump won Michigan's 16 electoral votes last year-- by a whisker: 2,279,543 (47.5%) to 2,268,839 (46.3%), a margin of 10,704 votes. Like in Wisconsin, Clinton was the wrong candidate. Although Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the corrupt Kings Landing Democratic establishment had rigged the process so that Hillary was able to walk away with 73 convention delegates to Bernie's 65, Bernie beat her statewide by almost 20,000 votes. Primary day totals:
Bernie- 595,222
Hillary Clinton- 576,795
Señor Trumpanzee- 483,751
Ted Cruz- 330,015
Let's look at 10 key counties that Trump won in the general against Hillary, but that Bernie had won against Clinton. The bolded counties are the ones that had voted for Obama in 2012 and flipped to Trump last year. It's very likely that had Bernie been the candidate in November, he would have beaten Trump, probably substantially.
Allegan Co.- Bernie- 5,545; Trumpanzee- 5,327
Bay Co.- Bernie- 6,363; Trumpanzee- 5,738
Calhoun Co.- Bernie- 5,810; Trumpanzee- 5,800
Eaton Co.- Bernie- 7,007; Trumpanzee- 5,386
Grand Traverse Co.- Bernie- 8,091; Trumpanzee- 5,891
Isabella Co.- Bernie- 4,024; Trumpanzee- 2,180
Kent Co.- Bernie- 43,375; Trumpanzee- 22,742
Midland Co.- Bernie- 4,568; Trumpanzee- 3,909
Ottawa Co.- Bernie- 14,334; Trumpanzee- 11,600
Shiawassee Co.- Bernie- 4,452; Trumpanzee- 3,864
As far as current favorable/unfavorable numbers among Michigan registered voters:
Trumpanzee- favorable-34%; unfavorable- 59%
Debbie Stabenow- favorable- 39%; unfavorable- 32%
Kid Rock- favorable- 36%; unfavorable- 34%
Rick Snyder- favorable- 37%; unfavorable- 48%
Obama- favorable- 63%; unfavorable- 31%
Bernie- favorable- 58%; unfavorable- 32%
Democratic Party- favorable 43%; unfavorable- 43%
Republican Party- favorable 30%; unfavorable- 55%
As far as control of Congress, 48% of Michigan's registered voted would like to see the Democrats in control and just 35% would like to see the Republicans maintain control. The DCCC, as they always do, is busy recruiting and supporting crappy status quo candidates that are unlikely to generate much enthusiasm, like doing everything they can to discourage candidates running on the issues that made Bernie so popular in the state.

Michigan 6th congressional district is still occupied by out-of-touch Republican multimillionaire, a Paul Ryan rubber-stamp, Fred Upton. It's a swingy district that Obama won in 2008 (53-45%) and lost in 2012 (50-49%). Last year Trump beat Hillary there 51.3% to 42.9%. She drastically underperformed Obama. And this is Bernie country. There are 6 counties in the district. Trump beat Hillary in each one except Kalamazoo. But Bernie wiped out Hillary in the primaries there
• Kalamazoo- Bernie- 20,146; Hillary- 12,593 (Trumpanzee- 8,655)
Berrien- Bernie- 5,545; Hillary- 6,646 (Trumpanzee- 7,817)
Allegan- Bernie- 5,545; Hillary- 3,489 (Trumpanzee- 5,327)
Van Buren- Bernie-3,656; Hillary- 2,484 (Trumpanzee- 3,287)
St Joseph- Bernie- 2,219; Hillary- 1,382 (Trumpanzee- 2,528)
Cass- Bernie- 1,683; Hillary- 1,657 (Trumpanzee- 2,859)
The DCCC refused to help Paul Clements last year. In Michigan, they were too busy spending money on reactionary Blue Dogs, all of whom, waiting for Hillary's coattails to sweep them into office, lost. For example, the DCCC + Pelosi's House Majority PAC spent $2,367,918 on worthless Blue Dog Lon Johnson in MI-01. He lost the open seat to Republican John Bergman 201,153 (55.3%) to 144,319 (39.7%). In the 6th, the DCCC refused to spend any money on Paul Clements whatsoever and Pelosi's PAC chipped in a grand total of $10,971. Clements lost to Upton by around the same numbers that Johnson lost to Bergman but who knows what would have happened if the DCCC hadn't wasted their money on the reactionary Blue Dog and spent it on the progressive instead?

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Derek Black: "My Father, The Founder Of The White Nationalist Website Stormfront..."


Last week, Newsweek reported something that Trumpanzee's "fine people" are actually correct about, namely that America is becoming less white, more diverse. When Trump's Nazi and Klan fans were marching around Charlottesville with their tiki-torches shrieking "You will not replace us," their fears, wrote, Cristina Silva, "are not unfounded, depending on whom you identify as white."
The nation's great thinkers have for decades pointed out the fallacy and racism inherent in grouping people by the color of their skin, particularly in a nation where the South's "one-drop rule" meant anyone with a black ancestor could be sold into the slave trade, regardless of how many white grandparents the person had.

Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates examined the nation's tortured history in his probing autobiographical Between the World and Me, through his repeated use of phrase "people who believe they are white." "Some of these straight-haired people with blue eyes have been 'black.' ...Virginia planters obsessed with enslaving as many Americans as possible are the ones who came up with a one-drop rule that separated the 'white' from the 'black,' even if meant that their own blue-eyed sons would live under the lash," he wrote in the 2015 best-selling book.

Decades earlier, social critic and writer James Baldwin challenged the nation's obsession with racial categories in in a 1963 television segment titled The Negro and the American Promise. "What white people have to do," Baldwin said at the time, "is try to find out in their hearts why it was necessary for them to have a nigger in the first place. Because I am not a nigger. I'm a man. If I'm not the nigger here, and if you invented him, you, the white people, invented him, then you have to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that. Whether or not it is able to ask that question."

Baldwin often sought to remind white America of its malleable racial differences, referring to African-Americans as the nation's “bastard” children. “The truth is this country does not know what to do with its black population,” he once said. “Americans can’t face the fact that I am flesh of their flesh.”

...[W]hite people have seen signs that their dominance over the general population might be waning. The Census Bureau announced in 2012 that non-Hispanic whites made up a minority of births in the U.S. for the first time. That year, minorities made up 50.4 percent of the nation's infants, in part because of a booming Hispanic population.

Some demographers have predicted the U.S. will become a majority-minority nation by 2050, with African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and other minority groups outnumbering the people we call white.

The shift in the nation's racial demographics have already been stark. In 1965, whites represented 85 percent of the population, with the other 15 percent made up of African-Americans. These days, white people make up just 60 percent of the nation, while Hispanics account for 18 percent and Asians about 6 percent.

"The forces behind this transformation are a mix of immigration, births and deaths. The United States is more than four decades into what has been, in absolute numbers, the biggest immigration wave in its history-- more than 40 million arrivals. Unlike previous waves that were almost entirely from Europe, the modern influx has been dominated by Hispanic and Asian immigrants," the Pew Research Center concluded in 2012.

And that's exactly what white nationalists fear.

Richard B. Spencer, one of the nation's leading white nationalists who has backed President Donald Trump, has called for protecting the “heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world” by creating a white “ethno-state.” He supports doing so through “peaceful ethnic cleansing” that would remove minorities from the U.S.

After Trump condemned people protesting Nazis at the Virginia rally over the weekend, Spencer said this week he didn't think the president was truly denouncing neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists.

"His statement today was more kumbaya nonsense," said Spencer. "Only a dumb person would take those lines seriously."
Now, on to the son of Stormfront. Black, a former white nationalist, who once had his own popular alt-right radio show, penned an OpEd for the NYTimes over the weekend. "My dad," he wrote, "often gave me the advice that white nationalists are not looking to recruit people on the fringes of American culture, but rather the people who start a sentence by saying, 'I’m not racist, but …' The most effective tactics for white nationalists are to associate American history with themselves and to suggest that the collective efforts to turn away from our white supremacist past are the same as abandoning American culture. My father, the founder of the white nationalist website Stormfront, knew this well. It’s a message that erases people of color and their essential role in American life, but one that also appeals to large numbers of white people who would agree with the statement, 'I’m not racist, but I don’t want American history dishonored, and this statue of Robert E. Lee shouldn’t be removed.'"
I was raised by the leaders of the white nationalist movement with a model of American history that described a vigorous white supremacist past and once again I find myself observing events in which I once might have participated before I rejected the white nationalist cause several years ago. After the dramatic, horrible and rightly unnerving events in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend, I had to make separate calls: one to make sure no one in my family who might have attended the rally got hurt, and a second to see if any friends at the University of Virginia had been injured in the crowd of counterprotesters.

On Tuesday afternoon the president defended the actions of those at the rally, stating, “You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.” His words marked possibly the most important moment in the history of the modern white nationalist movement. These statements described the marchers as they see themselves — nobly driven by a good cause, even if they are plagued by a few bad apples. He said: “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists.”

But this protest, contrary to his defense, was advertised unambiguously as a white nationalist rally. The marchers chanted, “Jews will not replace us”; in the days leading up to the event, its organizers called it “a pro-white demonstration”; my godfather, David Duke, attended and said it was meant to “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump”; and many attendees flew swastika flags. Whatever else you might say about the rally, they were not trying to deceive anyone.

Almost by definition, the white nationalist movement over the past 40 years has worked against the political establishment. It was too easy for politicians to condemn the movement-- even when there was overlap on policy issues-- because it was a liability without enough political force to make the huge cost of associating with it worthwhile. Until Tuesday, I didn’t believe that had changed.

We have all observed the administration’s decisions over the past several months that aligned with the white nationalist agenda, such as limiting or completely cutting off legal and illegal immigration, especially of Hispanics and Muslims; denigrating black communities as criminal and poor, threatening to unleash an even greater police force on them; and going after affirmative action as antiwhite discrimination. But I had never believed Trump’s administration would have trouble distancing itself from the actual white nationalist movement.

Yet President Trump stepped in to salvage the message that the rally organizers had originally hoped to project: “George Washington was a slave owner,” he said, and asked, “So will George Washington now lose his status?” Then: “How about Thomas Jefferson?” he asked. “Because he was a major slave owner. Now are we going to take down his statue?” He added: “You’re changing history. You’re changing culture.”

Until Trump’s comments, few critics seemed to identify the larger relationship the alt-right sees between its beliefs and the ideals of the American founders. Charlottesville is synonymous with Jefferson. The city lies at the foot of Monticello and is the home of the University of Virginia, the school he founded. Over the years I’ve made several pilgrimages to Charlottesville, both when I was a white nationalist and since I renounced the ideology. While we all know that Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence, which declared that “all men are created equal,” his writings also offer room for explicitly white nationalist interpretation.

My father observed many times that the quotation from Jefferson’s autobiography embedded on the Jefferson Memorial is deceptive because it reads, “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these [the Negro] people are to be free.” It does not include the second half of the sentence: “Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them.”

Jefferson’s writings partly inspired the American colonization movement, which encouraged the return of free black people to Africa-- a goal that was pursued even by Abraham Lincoln during the first years of the Civil War.

The most fundamental legislative goal of the white nationalist movement is to limit nonwhite immigration. It is important to remember that such limits were in place during the lifetimes of many current white nationalists; it was the default status until the 1960s. In the 1790s, the first naturalization laws of the United States Congress limited citizenship to a “free white person.”

Legislation in the 1920s created quotas for immigration based on national origin, which placed severe restrictions on the total number of immigrants and favored northern and western European immigration. It was only with the civil rights movement of the 1960s that the national origin quota system was abolished and Congress fully removed the restriction favoring white immigrants.

I’m not offering these historical anecdotes to defame the history of the country. I’m not calling for Jefferson’s statue to be removed along with the Confederate memorials. I do, however, think it is essential that we recognize that the white nationalist history embedded in American culture lends itself to white nationalist rallies like the one in Charlottesville. If you want to preserve Confederate memorials, but you don’t work to build monuments to historical black leaders, you share the same cause as the marchers.

Until Tuesday I believed the organizers of the rally had failed in their goal to make their movement more appealing to average white Americans. The rally superimposed Jefferson’s image on that of a pseudo K.K.K. rally and brought the overlap between Jefferson and white nationalist ideas to mind for anyone looking to find them. But the horrific violence that followed seemed to hurt their cause.

And then President Trump intervened. His comments supporting the rally gave new purpose to the white nationalist movement, unlike any endorsement it has ever received. Among its followers, being at that rally will become something to brag about, and some people who didn’t want to be associated with extremism will now see the cause as more mainstream. When the president doesn’t provide condemnation that he has been pressed to give, what message does that send but encouragement?

The United States was founded as a white nationalist country, and that legacy remains today. Things have improved from the radical promotion of white people at the expense of all others, which has persisted for most of our history, yet most of us have not accepted the extent to which white identity guides so much of what we still do. Sometimes it seems that the white nationalists are most honest about the very real foundation of white supremacy upon which our nation was built.

The president’s words legitimized the worst of our country, and now the white nationalist movement could be poised to grow. To challenge these messages, we need to acknowledge the continuity of white nationalist thought in American history, and the appeal it still holds.

It is a fringe movement not because its ideas are completely alien to our culture, but because we work constantly to argue against it, expose its inconsistencies and persuade our citizens to counter it. We can no longer count on the country’s leader to do this, so it’s now incumbent upon all of us.
Now a graduate student in history, this was hardly Derek's first splash into popular political culture. He was once a wunderkind of the right-wing fringe and after he rejected his parents' politics and last year, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Washington Post, Eli Saslow, profiled him, observing that "Years before Donald Trump launched a presidential campaign based in part on the politics of race and division, a group of avowed white nationalists was working to make his rise possible by pushing its ideology from the radical fringes ever closer to the far conservative right... Derek Black represented another step in that evolution. He never used racial slurs. He didn’t advocate violence or lawbreaking. He had won a Republican committee seat in Palm Beach County, Fla., where Trump also had a home, without ever mentioning white nationalism, talking instead about the ravages of political correctness, affirmative action and unchecked Hispanic immigration. He was not only a leader of racial politics but also a product of them. His father, Don Black, had created Stormfront, the Internet’s first and largest white nationalist site, with 300,000 users and counting. His mother, Chloe, had once been married to David Duke, one of the country’s most infamous racial zealots, and Duke had become Derek’s godfather. They had raised Derek at the forefront of the movement, and some white nationalists had begun calling him 'the heir.'"

Derek used to talk about how "The Republican Party has to be either demolished or taken over. I’m kind of banking on the Republicans staking their claim as the white party." It was a smart bet.
White nationalism had bullied its way toward the very center of American politics, and yet, one of the people who knew the ideology best was no longer anywhere near that center. Derek had just turned 27, and instead of leading the movement, he was trying to untangle himself not only from the national moment but also from a life he no longer understood.

From the very beginning, that life had taken place within the insular world of white nationalism, where there was never any doubt about what whiteness could mean in the United States. Derek had been taught that America was intended as a place for white Europeans and that everyone else would eventually have to leave. He was told to be suspicious of other races, of the U.S. government, of tap water and of pop culture. His parents pulled him out of public school in West Palm Beach at the end of third grade, when they heard his black teacher say the word “ain’t.” By then, Derek was one of only a few white students in a class of mostly Hispanics and Haitians, and his parents decided he would be better off at home.

“It is a shame how many White minds are wasted in that system,” Derek wrote shortly thereafter, on the Stormfront children’s website he built at age 10. “I am no longer attacked by gangs of non whites. I am learning pride in myself, my family and my people.”

Derek, age 9 with Gov. Kirk Fordice, Mississippi's first GOP governor since Reconstruction

Because he was home-schooled, white nationalism could become a focus of his education. It also meant he had the freedom to begin traveling with his father, who left for several weeks each year to speak at white nationalist conferences in the Deep South. Don Black had grown up in Alabama, where in the 1970s, he joined a group called the White Youth Alliance, led by David Duke, who at the time was married to Chloe. That relationship eventually dissolved, and years later, Don and Chloe reconnected, married and had Derek in 1989. They moved into Chloe’s childhood home in West Palm Beach to raise Derek along with Chloe’s two young daughters. There were Guatemalan immigrants living down the block and Jewish retirees moving into a condo nearby. “Usurpers,” Don sometimes called them, but Chloe didn’t want to move away from her aging mother in Florida, so Don settled for taking long road trips to the whitest parts of the South.

...So many others in white nationalism had come to their conclusions out of anger and fear, but Derek tended to like most people he met, regardless of race. Instead, he sought out logic and science to confirm his worldview, reading studies from conservative think tanks about biological differences between races, IQ disparities and rates of violent crime committed by blacks against whites. He launched a daily radio show to share his views, and Don paid $275 each week to have it broadcast on the AM station in nearby Lake Worth. On the air, Derek helped popularize the idea of a white genocide, that whites were losing their culture and traditions to massive, nonwhite immigration. “If we say it a thousand times-- ‘White genocide! We are losing control of our country!’-- politicians are going to start saying it, too,” he said. He repeated the idea in interviews, Stormfront posts and during his speech at the conference in Memphis, when he was at his most certain.

Derek finished high school, enrolled in community college and ran for a seat on the Republican committee, beating an incumbent with 60 percent of the vote. He decided he wanted to study medieval European history, so he applied to New College of Florida, a top-ranked liberal arts school with a strong history program... He left after one semester to study abroad in Germany, because he wanted to learn the language.
Saslow's report on how Derek's experience at college changed his attitude towards white nationalism is fascinating and I suggest you read the whole column. Most of it was because of friends he made at school although he did learn during his studies of medieval history that "Western Europe had begun not as a great society of genetically superior people but as a technologically backward place that lagged behind Islamic culture. He studied the 8th century to the 12th century," wrote Saslow, "trying to trace back the modern concepts of race and whiteness, but he couldn’t find them anywhere. 'We basically just invented it,' he concluded."

When his father read an article at the Southern Poverty Law Center Derek had written the day before, "Activist Son of Key Racist Leader Renounces White Nationalism," he called Derek to tell him he'd been hacked. When he told his father the letter he sent to the SPLC was real, his father hung up the phone. His parents and half-sisters freaked out and shunned him. He moved. He says he took one of those online political quizzes, and his views aligned 97% with Hillary Clinton’s. Eventually he came to the conclusion that race is a false concept.

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CNN And The DCCC-- Both Are Paul Ryan Enablers


New NBC News/Marist polls of registered voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin caused a stir when they were released yesterday. Mark Murray reported that Señor Trumpanzee's job approval ratings in the 3 key Midwestern states are in the mid-30s. "In addition, Democrats enjoy double-digit leads in Michigan and Pennsylvania on the question of which party voters prefer to control Congress after the 2018 midterms, and they hold an 8-point advantage in Wisconsin. In all three states, more than six in 10 voters say Trump’s conduct as president has embarrassed them, compared to just a quarter who have said it’s made them proud."
In Michigan, 36 percent of voters approve of Trump’s job performance (including 19 percent who strongly approve), while 55 percent disapprove (including 40 percent who strongly do).

In Pennsylvania, 35 percent give the president’s job a thumbs up (17 percent strongly), versus 54 percent who disapprove (41 percent strongly).

And in Wisconsin, 34 percent of voters approve of Trump (17 percent strongly), compared with 56 percent who disapprove (42 percent strongly).

...Ahead of next year’s midterm elections, the polls show that 48 percent of Michigan voters prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, versus 35 percent who prefer a Republican-controlled one.

In Pennsylvania, Democrats hold a 10-point advantage on congressional preference, 47 percent to 37 percent. And in Wisconsin, they have an 8-point edge, 46 percent to 38 percent.
The DCCC midterm strategy is basically to back conservative candidates in districts where Hillary beat Trump, by itself a very backward-looking strategy that is sure to guarantee the Republicans control of the House. So, for example, the DCCC declared early on that they would not be contesting any seats in Wisconsin, where Trump beat Hillary 1,405,284 (47.22%) to 1,382,536 (46.45%)-- a total Trump margin of 22,748 votes. Luckily for Democrats interested in winning back the House-- and for Democrats eager to see a big statewide turnout to help Senator Tammy Baldwin keep her Senate seat-- candidates are ignoring the DCCC in almost all the Wisconsin congressional district held by a Republican. The DCCC has managed to frighten off Democrats from challenging Sean Duffy (WI-07) and Mike Gallagher (WI-08), both potentially vulnerable Republicans in swing districts. Meanwhile the Wisconsin grassroots are forcing the DCCC's hand in WI-01, where this year's biggest electoral phenomenon, Randy Bryce, is challenging Paul Ryan, and in WI-06, where two Democrats-- Dan Kohl and Scott Olmer-- are waging a serious battle to take on radical right extremist Glenn Grothman. There are also two Democrats-- Ramon Garcia and Shawn Rundblade-- vying for the nomination to oppose Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05).

The DCCC can't comprehend Wisconsin. The state doesn't fit their one-dimensional cookie cutter model. Neither Clinton nor Trump won the primaries there.
Bernie- 567,936
Ted Cruz- 531,129
Hillary Clinton- 432,767
Trumpanzee- 386,370
On primary day, Bernie + Clinton took 1,000,065 votes while Cruz + Trumpanzee took 917,499 votes. But the DCCC decided to raise the white flag over Wisconsin and just not even contest the state at all. Great thinking from the organization that has do-nothing but lose and lose and lose-- dozen and dozens of seats-- in the last decade. And now they're whining because Democrats won't want to fund them any longer. You'd be better off stuffing your dollars down a sewer than contributing to the DCCC.

And compounding the problem-- bigly!-- Paul Ryan at the helm of Congress

In WI-01 Trump beat Clinton by nearly 10 points, a catastrophe but it never dawned on the geniuses at the DCCC to try to figure out that Hillary was the exact wrong candidate for the district. The voters there didn't like Trump at all but they judged him as the lesser of the two evils for their own and their families' aspirations. The one thing they knew they did not want was the status quo that Clinton represented. Now they're horrified by Trump. But look at the comparisons between how Trump did in the WI-01 counties and how Bernie did:
Kenosha-- Bernie- 14,612; Trumpanzee- 11,139
Racine-- Bernie- 14,651; Trumpanzee- 11,756
Rock-- Bernie- 17,337; Trumpanzee- 10,264
Walworth-- Bernie- 8,405; Trumpanzee- 7,534
[Too much of Milwaukee and Waukesha counties are not in the district for their county numbers to be meaningful to this WI-01 comparison.] This comparison isn't about how Bernie would have won, but about how the DCCC is guilty of political malpractice by deciding to give up on WI-01 based on how badly Hillary did there. It is beyond their comprehension how terrible a candidate she was for districts like WI-01 and how what Bernie-- as well as Randy Bryce-- are offering exactly what WI-01 voters are looking for. Imagine if Bernie winds up in southeast Wisconsin campaigning for Randy Bryce. Really... close your eyes and imagine it. Go ahead. It's Paul Ryan's worst nightmare-- as well as something the DCCC couldn't possibly comprehend. They'd probably want to send Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi, Ben Ray Lujan and Joe Crowley there instead.

Among registered voters in Wiscosnin, the poll showed that 57% have an unfavorable view of the GOP (33% have a favorable view), while "only" 49% have an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party (39% favorable). 46% of voters say they want a Congress controlled by Democrats and only 38% say they would prefer a Congress controlled by the GOP. The Wisconsin voters were also asked if they have favorable of unfavorable impressions of the following politicians:
Obama- 60% favorable/34% unfavorable
Bernie- 53% favorable/34% unfavorable
Scott Walker- 40% favorable/53% unfavorable
Tammy Baldwin- 39% favorable/34% unfavorable
Obviously all Democrats in Wisconsin have a 34% unfavorable rating. That's the hardcore Republican Party base reacting exactly how Fox News and Hate Talk Radio have taught them to react. Now look at this rather stunning survey that the DCCC ought to take a look at as well:

Goal ThermometerThat's a separate poll by PPP just of voters in WI-01, taken a few days after Ryan got House Republicans to vote to replace Obamacare with TrumpCare. It indicated that-- regardless of what the DCCC does-- Ryan will have a very tough time being reelected in 2018. The fact that Randy Bryce is proving to be one of the most effective-- if not iconic-- congressional candidates in any district anywhere in the country, never dawned on the DCCC when they made their 2018 calculations. Nor apparently did it dawn on CNN when they decided to give Paul Ryan what amounts to an infomercial tonight, while calling it a "town hall." People want a debate on real issues between Bryce and Ryan, not a series of pre-screened questions in front of a pre-screened audience, which is what Jake Tapper has agreed to. Please help Randy pay to run TV ads on the CNN Paul Ryan infomercial that CNN has banned him from. How? By tapping on the Stop Paul Ryan ActBlue thermometer on the right. Let me show you two more little charts, both showing twitter activity on the whole issue of fairness and CNN in regard to the favoritism they are showing towards Paul Ryan tonight. The first (on the bottom) was from Thursday and the second (the top one) was yesterday. You'll have to click on the images to be able to see the widespread enthusiasm for CNN to offer their viewers something worth watching instead of a canned Paul Ryan-Jake Tapper lovefest:

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The Midnight Meme Of The Day


-by Noah

4 down and 2 to go. You might rejoice at this picture, it represents the pride of the Republican Party, but ask yourself, “Why are 2 of these clowns still there? How long? How long? Oh Lordy, how long?”

Oh, and there’s also the rest of Trump’s administration and staff of Nazi sympathizers. Judging by their silence, the White House staff is a stinking rat-infested cesspool of them, hundreds of them. We shouldn’t be surprised, though. Anyone who would want to work for someone like Herr Trump is more than suspect on every level.

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Do You Know Anyone Who's Fashy-- As In Fashionably Fascist?


Ugly Nazi with ugly Nazi hairdo

Not surprisingly, Israel's most respectable newspaper, Haaretz, covers American news very thoroughly. Señor Trumpanzee, who, despite-- in at least one case-- his long association with virulent anti-Semites, is only popular in two foreign countries (Russia and Israel). Soon after he moved into what he calls "a dump," but what most Americans call the White House, Haaretz ran a story about how Trump male supporters started sporting their neo-Nazi haircuts.
In November, just four days after the presidential election, a somewhat unusual post appeared on the neo-Nazi news site Daily Stormer. The writer, Andrew Anglin, called on white people to make New Balance clothing their uniform. The idea was inspired by a New Balance executive’s statement that he was “optimistic about Donald Trump.”

“This will be fantastic,” Anglin told his followers. “We will be able to recognize one another by our sportswear.”

Despite Anglin’s urging, this proposed repurposing of the New Balance label as a neo-Nazi label did not take off. But Anglin’s post still made it clear that the American so-called alt-right-- or “alternative right”-- is eager to find new identifying signs that will distinguish it from the mainstream. No more shaved heads, tattoos and military boots, but rather fashion symbols that will enhance the movement’s appeal and legitimacy among the American public at large.

White nationalist leader Richard Spencer said in a 2013 interview with Salon, “We have to look good,” explaining that middle-class folks won’t want to be part of something that is “crazed or ugly or vicious or just stupid.”

Spencer himself always wears three-piece Brooks Brothers suits, and an expensive gold watch and cufflinks. And the charismatic leader also adopted an iconic hairstyle: short on the sides and long on top. The look was very popular around the start of this decade, first with hipsters from Brooklyn and later among fans of David Beckham and Brad Pitt, with whom it had come to be identified.

Lately, especially after a video of Spencer being punched in the head went viral, more and more white supremacists have been adopting the hairstyle, known as the “fashy” (for “fashionable fascist”). The Washington Post reported in December that a conspicuous number of attendees at a neo-Nazi convention in the capital were sporting the fashy, and that some were also giving the straight-armed salute.

Over the past months, the hairstyle has become associated with dedicated members of right-wing American movements, as well as with others who just identify with their ideology. So strongly associated, in fact, that a lot of other people are becoming wary of those sporting the look. For example, in an article published last weekend on the Refinery 29 women’s fashion website, several women said they always “swipe left” on Tinder whenever someone with that hairstyle turns up, so as to avoid a potential date with a far-rightist.

“I’m literally so afraid of every man on Tinder now,” said Brooklyn-based writer Allison Davis. “I never know now if it’s a white guy who’s trying a little too hard to be hip, or an actual neo-Nazi,” she confessed.

The alt-right’s appropriation of the hairstyle has also impacted men who hitherto were fond of the look and didn’t associate it with political views of any sort. Dan H., also of Brooklyn, who preferred not to give his full name, told the site that he’d been getting his hair cut that way for five years, but lately he’d started getting comments from people who pointed out its fascist connotations. He described running into a woman he’d dated a few years before, who asked him, “Did you get a haircut? You look like a neo-Nazi.” Dan says that until then, he didn’t realize what kind of vibe it was giving off.

The hairstyle first appeared in England in the Victorian age. Then, too, it was associated with young hooligans, called Scuttlers. The Scuttlers belonged to gangs found predominantly in and around the poorer sections of Manchester. They used the hairstyle, plus accessories such as colorful scarves, to set themselves apart. The hairstyle remained associated with hooligans until the 1930s and 1940s, when it was adopted by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement in Germany. The Washington Post article said German soldiers of the time requested that haircut to make it easier to don and remove their helmets. The fact that many Nazi posters and other propaganda from the period feature young men with the fashy hairstyle surely doesn’t detract from the appeal it holds for Spencer and others like him.

The Washington Post article took a humorous look at the evolution the hairstyle has undergone in the past months, from hipster affectation to neo-fascist show of power: “Until a few weeks ago, you saw a man with that haircut and assumed he might be a good person to hit on, or to buy small-batch beer from, or to ask the whereabouts of the nearest bicycle shop. Now you see him and wonder if he’s trying to deport half the nation.”

How can one avoid such confusion? Heidi Beirich, who monitors hate groups for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told New York Magazine, “The guys in the suits are the ones we have to worry about.” And she warns, “Beneath the benign-looking guy and the benign-sounding name, the purpose of the [alt-right] National Policy Institute is to push the idea that all men are created unequal.”

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Julius Krein, A Trump Propagandist Plays The “We Didn’t Know” Card


-by Noah

First, some background: Julius Krein is the founder of American Affairs a pro-Trump quartely, and founder of the Journal of American Greatness. He is from South Dakota and is a graduate of Harvard. He went into the financial world and worked for the Bank Of America and the Blackstone Group, a private equity and hedge fund operation that specializes in leveraged buyouts and has its roots in Lehman Brothers. Take a few moments and let the significance of that sink in.

Krein says he formed American Affairs” to, quote, “give the Trump movement some intellectual heft.”

OK, so now that we know all of this, I guess we can assume that Krein is not a stupid man, but, he is a man with a predator background who had a voice that was larger than most, and, sadly, he used it in the service of promoting Donald Trump and Trump’s brand of fascism. It’s hard to think of Krein as a “very fine” person. No, he used his money and what intelligence he has to promote Trump and the evil for which he stands.

Just think of the idea of giving Trump’s fascism “intellectual heft.” Provide cover is more like it. Anyway, Trump and intellect are not two things that would come together in any kind of word association game, unless that game required you to deal in opposites. The only real world way to associate Trump with intellect, and, more importantly, anything good and decent is through the use of propaganda.

So, there you have it, Krein is a propagandist, a press flak, a brainwasher for Trump. Calling him anything else is an insult to caring, intelligent people anywhere (Although I do have to admit that I have thought of a other few things I could call him.)

On Thursday, the New York Times published an opinion piece by Krein titled “I Voted For Trump. And I Sorely Regret It.” The alternative title should be “I Voted For Trump And All I Got Was This Shitty Red Hat.”

In his mea culpa opinion piece, Krein admitted that he had made statements such as Trump being “the most serious candidate in the race” and writing dozens of articles and making a similar number of radio and TV appearances in support of his guy, even when “conservative friends and colleagues said I had to be kidding.” Krein also admits to knowing that Trump was “Crude and meandering for almost all of the primary campaign”, but, he saw Trump as being different than the more “conventional candidates.” True that.

Krein says he liked that Trump was a critic of corporations for off-shoring jobs and attacked financial industry executives for avoiding taxes. I guess how Trump handled his own taxes and off-shored the work of his own companies never bothered him.

The first half of the Krein piece is a catalog of all the things he liked that Trump was saying about foreign and domestic issues. Apparently he never once questioned Trump’s sincerity, perhaps seeing what he wanted to see. It’s a pathetic attempt to justify his actions. He even states that he tried to steer Trump “in the right direction,” as if anyone could. It takes an out of control ego to think you could. I’m guessing Krein saw a bit of himself when he saw Trump.

According to the incredibly self-important Krein, the support he provided to Trump through the Journal of American Greatness was him acting as “one of the leading voices supporting certain themes of Trump’s campaign.” Michael Anton, now an advisor on the National Security Council was one of the journal’s predecessor, simply called American Greatness, most prolific writers.

Once Krein’s mission was accomplished and Trump was in the White House, he formed his previously mentioned quarterly to continue what he’d started. In another moment of self-aggrandizement (that right there could be a also be big part of his attraction to Trump), Krain states that
In this role, as one of the few people in the media who has been somewhat sympathetic to Mr. Trump, I am often asked to comment on his surprise victory, or more recently on his statements, and the gusher of news pouring out of this White House. For months, despite increasing chaos and incoherence, I have given Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt: ‘No I don’t think he is a racist’, I have told skeptical audiences. ‘Yes, he says some stupid things, but none of it really matters; he’s not really incompetent.’
Really? Well, it seems his idol’s handling of what happened in Charlottesville was too much even for a professional apologist and propagandist like Krein. More likely, he just wants credit for being one of the first rats off the ship.
It is now clear that my optimism was unfounded. I can’t stand by this disgraceful administration any longer, and I would urge anyone who once supported him as I did to stop defending the 45th president… Far from making America great again, Mr. Trump has betrayed the foundations of our common citizenship.
Krein even has the gall to say
It is now clear that we were deluding ourselves.
Oh boy. Wow. And to think, this assclown went to Harvard! What the hell do they teach people there? Certainly, in his case, it wasn’t any kind of analytical or critical thinking ability. Then again, maybe we should demand to see his diploma.

Think about this: The birtherism that his boy Trump founded his campaign on never tipped Krein off. The Central Park 5 case, the housing discrimination suits, the treatment of African-Americans at his casinos, his relationships with mafia and Russian mob figures, the ripped off contractors, the treatment of women, the treatment of underage beauty contestants, his racist stances on Muslims and immigrants, the refusal to hand over his tax records, the hypocrisy of talking about off-shoring of jobs while he and his family have their clothing lines made in China, his obvious lack of ANY knowledge of the Constitution, the psychotic desire to take Chemo away from American cancer patients, The destruction of national parks while he tries to protect monuments to treason and slavery, the making fun of the disabled, the Hitler salutes at his rallies, and the fact that anyone with half a brain could watch Trump speak for 2 minutes and see that he is severely mentally ill… none of that tipped off Julius Krein. Fuck you Julius Krein. Lying, disingenuous, 2-bit Goebbels wanna be scumbag. Accessory to treason. Fuck you.

Krein’s piece in Thursday’s Times is like someone saying “I know I didn’t get my brakes fixed. I thought they’d be fine,” after he’s just run over a dozen school kids and a crossing guard.

In Chaucerian times, people wore hairshirts and crawled on their bellies for a hundred miles to ask for forgiveness. This assclown thinks a disingenuous, self-promoting, half-wit not even half apology article in the New York Times will suffice. Not only that, but he still adheres to the republican agenda. Some Republicans are acting all “shocked, shocked I tell you, shocked and surprised” that Trump is what he is. It’s all “gee, we didn’t know.” This is part of an attempt that Republicans are making to create the impression that they are somehow separate from their President Trump.

But, I will be fair to Krein. Regardless of his motivations, he has spoken up. That, I suppose, makes him better than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who took even longer than Trump to address Charlottesville and pretend he was affronted not that we would have ever expected him to address it at all, especially after seeing his wife by Trump’s side nodding her approval while he said that some Nazis are “fine people” during his now infamous press tantrum. It also makes Krein better in my eyes than Speaker Paul Ryan, an American terrorist in his own right, who once said he couldn’t endorse Trump, went ahead and did so anyway, and continues to support the Trump agenda every hour of every day. It also makes him better than that full staff of Nazi sympathizers that infest the White House and say nothing. Anything any of these cretins have to say from now on will have no credibility because they have given away what is in their charred little hearts. Their silence has spoken. Their words will mean nothing, and you can say that about 99.9% of their party. Only a change of actions and attitudes will matter. Don’t hold your breath.

It’s hard to say that anything good came of Charlottesville but it did expose, once and for all, what lies at the core of the Republican Party, so much so that even a smug, self-important asswipe like Julius Krein could see it. Polls show, however, that the majority of republican voters still support Trump. Trump’s poll numbers may be sinking over all, but, if the election were held today, he would still win in most places where he won last November, just by smaller margins.

One final note: On Thursday night, Krein went on CNN, the Neville Chamberlain of news channels, to make his case for redemption. Oh wait. No, that wasn’t it at all. He just loves being on TV, like someone else I could name. Fuck you again, Julius Krein. May I send you a set of Hari Kari knives?

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