Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

The President was elected In the checkout aisle.

December 18, 2018

The President was elected In the checkout aisle.

National Enquirer publisher David Pecker admitted to felony campaign law violations in the “trap and kill” hush money operation to silence Donald Trump’s mistresses, but his other undeclared contribution to the Trump campaign, worth millions, reached the candidate’s low-information supporters close to home, at the checkout counter magazine rack.

“It was the real-world embodiment of the fantasy online world of trolls, Russian and domestic, who polluted the political discourse. From its perches at Publix and Safeway, it was often doing the same job as Alex Jones, of the conspiracy site Infowars, and the more strident Trump campaign surrogates on Twitter and Facebook.

The Enquirer spread false stories about Hillary Clinton — illnesses concealed, child prostitution, bribery, treason. Each cover trumpeting these tales was arguably more powerful than a tweet from an account with millions of followers.”

“‘Wondering what The Enquirer’s covers were worth to the Trump campaign, I called Regis Maher, a co-founder of Do It Outdoors, the national mobile and digital billboard company. He said a campaign with that level of national prominence would cost $2.5 million to $3 million a month. ‘It’s such a powerful placement,’ Mr. Maher said. ‘Everybody’s gotta go to the grocery store.’”

“More Powerful Than a Russian Troll Army: The National Enquirer,” Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

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2016 Photo (“Quality Journalism Means an Informed Citizenry”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Border Wall: Art of the Threat

December 17, 2018

Border Wall: Art of the Threat

After being schooled on TV by Nancy Pelosi, President Trump is conducting his latest extortion campaign via Twitter and White House Staff Creature Stephen Miller. The Trump Doctrine: Gimme $5 billion for my border wall, or else:

“If we don’t get what we want one way or the other, whether it’s through you, it’s through military, I will shut down the government.”

The deadline is Friday.

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Top Image by Mike Licht via the Ransomiser. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Missile Crisis: Trump Warns Russia, Russia Warns Trump

December 6, 2018

Back in October, mustachioed National Security Advisor and Cold War reenactor John Bolton first warned Vladimir Putin that President Trump is just itching to pull the U.S. out of the Reagan-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo now says this will happen in 60 days. President Putin offers to respond by ramping up Russia’s missile development. This would be a good time to refurnish your fallout shelter.

More:

“Trump Hits Replay on the End of the Cold War,” Mark Gongloff, Bloomberg

Related:

“Nuclear War Experts: ‘John Bolton Is an Asshole,'” Matthew Gault, Motherboard

Song: “Russia, Russia (Lay That Missile Down),”  written by Tom Paxton, recorded by Prescott Reed (we don’t know if he’s the balalaika player). 1958.

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Firehose of Falsehood

November 15, 2018

Obvious lies make great propaganda. Carlos Maza explains. A Vox video.

More:

“The Russian ‘Firehose of Falsehood’ Propaganda Model,” Christopher Paul, Miriam Matthews, RAND Corporation

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How ‘The Apprentice’ Manufactured Trump

November 14, 2018

“How ‘The Apprentice’ Manufactured Trump,” an Atlantic video.

In 2004 the first season of The Apprentice reintroduced pro wrestling promoter Donald Trump as an incredibly successful and intelligent businessman, the biggest real estate developer in New York City (had to be true, it was on TV, right?). The show was a hit, and boosted the Trump brand. The show’s producers created his persona and sold his image to America. How did they create a reality TV president?

More:

“The Inside Story of How ‘The Apprentice’ Rescued Donald Trump,” Michael Kranish,Marc Fisher, Fortune

“How Reality TV Made Donald Trump President,” Joy Lanzendorfer, Vice

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Fraudster & Political Hack Illegally Acting as U.S. Attorney General

November 13, 2018

Fraudster & Political Hack Illegally Acting as U.S. Attorney General

After firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, President Trump appointed right-wing political hack Matthew Whitaker, a man the president doesn’t know (except when he does) as acting attorney general. There are a few issues with Mr. Whitaker’s appointment, chief among them the fact that it’s against the law. The Constitution, Which Donald Trump swore to defend, requires principal federal cabinet officers to be confirmed by the senate, and Matt Whitaker wasn’t. His appointment was illegal. Even Kellyanne Conway’s husband says so. So does Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano.

But there’s more. As acting AG, Matt Whitaker oversees the Mueller investigation, and he is already on record criticizing it, suggesting he would choke off Mueller’s funding. Mr. Whitaker has also opined that judges should be Christian, and the courts are an inferior branch of government, an interesting stance for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

And Matt Whitaker has some distinctly unchristian episodes in his past. He was on the board of World Patent Marketing, which paid a judgment of $25,987,192 to the FTC for defrauding inventors. Mr. Whitaker used his reputation as a former federal prosecutor to threaten inventors who complained. A perfect AG pick for a president with fraud judgments of his own.

More:

“Acting attorney general reportedly interviewed to be a ‘legal attack dog’ for Trump against Mueller,” Bonnie Kristian, The Week

“Trump’s acting attorney general involved in firm that scammed veterans out of life savings,” Jon Swaine, The Guardian

“Whitaker abandoned taxpayer-funded project in Iowa in 2016,” Ryan J. Foley and David Pitt, Associated Press

“Who Is Matt Whitaker And Why Is He Illegally Pretending To Be The Attorney General?” Elie Mystal, Above the Law

“Trump pick Whitaker rose through ranks as partisan targeting Democrats,” Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Jon Swaine, The Guardian

“The rules are clear: Whitaker can’t supervise Mueller’s investigation,”Neal Katyal, Washington Post

“A Quick Primer on the Legality of Appointing Matthew Whitaker as ‘Acting’ Attorney General, and Whitaker’s Power to Influence the Russia Investigation,” Marty Lederman, Just Security

Update:

“Whitaker’s Appointment as Acting Attorney General Faces Court Challenge,” Charlie Savage, Washington Post

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Trump’s Reverse Racism Claim

November 8, 2018

“… Yamiche Alcindor, a reporter for the PBS Newshour of Haitian descent, attempted to ask the president about the support he’s drawn from white nationalist groups.

‘On the campaign trail, you called yourself a nationalist. Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists,’ Alcindor said, in a preamble to her question. But before she could get the rest out, Trump interrupted her.

‘I don’t know why you’d say that. That’s such a racist question,’ he said.

Alcindor tried to continue, saying that ‘some people are now saying that the Republican Party is supporting white nationalists because of your rhetoric.’ But once again Trump interrupted her — and accused her of being the real racist:

I don’t believe it. Why do I have my highest poll numbers ever with African Americans? That’s a racist question … You know what? I love our country, I do. You have nationalists, and you have globalists … to say that, what you said, is so insulting to me. It’s a very terrible thing that you said.

— “Watch Trump shout down a black reporter asking him about racism,” Zack Beauchamp, Vox (read it in full)

Prepare for a fresh barrage of so-called “reverse racism” charges from the privileged white men of the Administration, the Freedom Caucus, and the Trump-packed courts. “Reverse racism” claims are also a hallmark of, you know, White Nationalism.

More:

“Trump said it is ‘racist’ to ask him about his nationalism. Here’s why it’s necessary.” Eugene Scott, Washington Post

“Trump draws rebukes for scolding female reporters of color,” Rebecca Morin, Politico

“‘What a stupid question’: Trump demeans three black female reporters in three days,” Paul Farhi, Washington Post

“Trump calls Baltimore native April Ryan a ‘loser,’ threatens to revoke press credentials,” Brittany Britto, Baltimore Sun

“I’m a black woman. Trump loves insulting people like me.” April Ryan, Washington Post

“Trump’s insults toward black reporters, candidates echo ‘historic playbooks’ used against African Americans, critics say,” David Nakamura, Washington Post

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Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

October 19, 2018

Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

“Donald Trump has praised Greg Gianforte, the Congress member from Montana, for violently attacking a Guardian reporter, saying that someone who performs a body slam is ‘my guy.’

Trump described in glowing terms the physical assault that occurred on 24 May 2017 when Ben Jacobs, the Guardian’s political correspondent, was asking Gianforte a question about health care policy in the course of a special congressional election in Bozeman, Montana. The US president incited cheers and chants from a crowd of about 8,000 supporters on Thursday night when he said: ‘Greg is smart. And by the way, never wrestle him. You understand. Never.’

As the cheers rang out across an aircraft hangar in Missoula, Trump went on to say: ‘Any guy that can do a body slam … he’s my guy.’

Trump’s comments mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil.”

— “Trump praises Gianforte for assault on Guardian reporter: ‘He’s my guy,'” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

In related news, PEN America is suing Mr.Trump in New York district court, claiming he “violated the First Amendment and his oath to uphold the Constitution,” a document which doesn’t consider the press to be the Enemy of the People.

More:

“Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing.” Suzanne Nossel, Politico

“Suing Trump for endangering the First Amendment,” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

“Yale Law clinic helps writers group file First Amendment suit against Trump,” Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal

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Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump?

October 18, 2018

“Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump?” asks Mehdi Hasan at the Intercept. While the president claims he has “no financial interests” in Saudi Arabia, The Kingdom bailed out Mr. Trump after some of his less-artful deals, and has bought Trump properties for millions.

More:

“Trump tweeted he has no ties to Saudi Arabia. A Fox News account proved him wrong.” Stavros Agorakis, Vox

“Whether Trump has financial interests *in* Saudi Arabia, he has plenty *with* the country,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“Trump and Kushner Put Saudi’s Money First,” Timothy L. O’Brien, Bloomberg

“11 senators request Trump, sons disclose business ties with Saudi Arabia,” Marisa Fernandez, Axios

“President Trump has a massive conflict of interest on Saudi Arabia,” Noah Bookbinder, Washington Post

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Trickle-Down Economics Is Trickling Away

October 11, 2018

Trickle-Down Economics Is Trickling Away

That old voodoo economics has the president in its spell, but where’s the magic?

Noah Smith: “If Trump’s corporate tax cuts end up having no observable effect on workers’ pay, it will be the final blow to the supply-side worldview.”

— “Trump Puts Supply-Side Economics to Its Final Test,” Noah Smith, Bloomberg

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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