Thursday, November 1, 2018

Last Call For Both Sides Forever

There is no level of perfidy or autocratic power abuse that Trump can commit that won't have a majority of the country blaming the media for everything wrong in America.

A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted over the past fractious, violent week shows a majority of voters think that President Donald Trump has done more to divide the country than unite it since he took office last year — but that the national news media are even worse.

Just 3 in 10 voters, 30 percent, said Trump has done more to unite the country, compared with 56 percent who said he’s done more to divide it. Even more voters, 64 percent, said the media have done more to divide the country, while only 17 percent say they have done more to unite it.

Majorities of Democrats (88 percent) and independents (54 percent) said Trump has done more to divide the U.S., while 55 percent of Republicans said Trump has done more to unite the country instead.

But few voters in either party — 28 percent of Democrats, 9 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of independents — said the national news media have done more to unite the country.

The poll was conducted Oct. 25-30, a tumultuous week that included the Oct. 26 arrest of a Florida man on charges of sending pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and other Trump critics, and the Oct. 27 murder of 11 Jewish worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

A majority of voters, 58 percent, said they consider political violence to be widespread, including 63 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of independents.

Asked who’s more to blame for political violence, 36 percent said Trump, while 9 percent pinned the blame on congressional Republicans. Fewer than a third, 31 percent, hold Democrats in Congress more responsible. Nearly a quarter, 24 percent, had no opinion.

“Voters across the political spectrum agree that political violence is widespread, but have different viewpoints on who’s responsible for the growing wave of unrest,” said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president. “Notably, 58 percent of voters say political violence is widespread — including 63 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans. However, while 77 percent of Democrats say President Trump and the GOP are responsible for political violence, just 14 percent of Republican voters say the same.”

And the media plays into Trump's hands time and time again, as they have been for more than three years now.  The best thing they could do is stop covering him altogether, for the White House press to walk out in disgust.  We all know however that a choice like that will never be made, and so the media will continue to feed Trump's ego and increase his followers.

Whether or not our democracy will survive another two years of this remains to be seen, but even if the Democrats win the House (for the Senate is at best long odds) the media will turn on them in order to placate Trump.  We'll see what happens when Trump makes his move to bury or end the Mueller probe after the Midterms, and the media's role in that.

Trump's Race To The Bottom, Con't

CNN doesn't pull any punches for once, calling Donald Trump's new GOP campaign ad days before the midterm election what it is: racist, plain and simple.

In the most racially charged national political ad in 30 years, President Donald Trump and the Republican Party accuse Democrats of plotting to help people they depict as Central American invaders overrun the nation with cop killers. 
The new spot, tweeted by the President five days before the midterm elections, is the most extreme step yet in the most inflammatory closing argument of any campaign in recent memory. 
The Trump campaign ad is the latest example of the President's willingness to lie and fear-monger in order to tear at racial and societal divides; to embrace demagoguery to bolster his own political power and the cause of the Republican midterm campaign. 
The ad -- produced for the Trump campaign -- features Luis Bracamontes, a Mexican man who had previously been deported but returned to the United States and was convicted in February in the slaying of two California deputies. 
"I'm going to kill more cops soon," a grinning Bracamontes is shown saying in court as captions flash across the screen reading "Democrats let him into our country. Democrats let him stay."

It's being done on purpose, and Trump is happy to do it.

The Trump ad also flashes to footage of the migrant caravan of Central American asylum seekers that is currently in Mexico, which Trump says is preparing an invasion of the United States, implying that everyone in the column of people fleeing repression, poverty and economic blight is bent on murder and serious crime on US soil. 
"Who else would Democrats let in?" a caption asks. 
A source close to the White House told CNN's Jim Acosta that the web ad was produced by Jamestown Associates for the Trump campaign for the midterms and was designed to fit into Trump's broader immigration push and to change the argument from "family unification to invasion." 
"It's clearly working. We are all talking about it and not health care," the source said.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the point.  We're talking about what Trump wants to talk about as his national hate rallies continue in key battleground states like Florida.

President Trump introduced the polarizing issue of birthright citizenship as a central plank of his closing argument to voters here Wednesday night as he began his final campaign sprint to Election Day.

Trump said illegal immigration was the driving issue of the midterm elections and vowed that with enlarged Republican congressional majorities he would achieve his immigration priorities, including eliminating the constitutional right to citizenship for those born in the United States to undocumented immigrant parents.

The president spoke at length about birthright citizenship, which he called “this crazy policy” that he said allowed “hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant children” born on U.S. soil to automatically become U.S. citizens and therefore eligible for every privilege and benefit of citizenship.

Birthright citizenship — you know all about it — we will keep the criminals, the drug dealers, we will keep them all out of our country,” Trump said. “We will get rid of all of this. We will end, finally, birthright citizenship. It’s costing us so many billions of dollars.” 

This is what the GOP is in 2018.  This is what they stand for.  This is what Republican voters want: permission to hate millions.  And if you think this is all a stunt, well all Trump needs is the five Republicans on the Supreme Court to agree with him.

The Dred Scott decision used to be law of the land too.

That Little Domestic Terrorism Problems Of Ours, Con't

Last week Gregory Bush walked into a Kroger in a Louisville suburb and killed two black people, telling a white bystander that "whites don't shoot whites" before letting that person go unharmed.  This happened an hour from where I live, and if you somehow think Kentucky doesn't have a massive white supremacy terrorist problem, well, I'm here to tell you it's rather pervasive.  Don't take my word for it though, take the word of somebody who knows Bush, his one-time attorney, Tommy Juanso.

I have spoken on social media for five years with the man police have charged in the Kroger killings, and I fully believe race was his primary motive.

Gregory Bush was a UK Wildcat fan. A superfan. A member of Big Blue Nation. I spoke to him on Twitter the same way many of us who affiliate as Cardinals and Wildcats do. In those interactions, the way the alleged killer viewed himself, and how he viewed others — with a surface categorization of their skin color, their race, their team — is significant.

When I learned the identity of the Kroger shooter, a man who is accused of murdering two wonderful people who happened to be black, it was clear to me that he did so because of his real team affiliation. It wasn’t a Wildcat vs. Cards rivalry. It was a deeper, more painful, and evil rivalry — a rivalry between a man who views himself as a member of the white team versus members of the black team.

I know this because he shared his views on race.

Several years ago, Gregory Bush made comments about black men on Twitter that were unforgivable. He saw black men as one homogeneous group and indicated that they were some of the most racist people he'd ever met.

I challenged him, and I told him that people of all races can be racist. This white man, married to a black woman, with a biracial son, hated black men. And he claimed he hated them because of comments black men made about his wife at Thunder over Louisville. He talked about “black dudes were pissed” he was with a black woman. He said they called his wife “a whore.” He said he would never forget those comments.

I explained to him that even if that was true, people in my own family have dealt with it. I tried to reach him, to change his heart, to open his eyes. It was obvious that he hated black men and would always hate them.

And if you think Bush is alone, well, this is the kind of place where black people get killed, and a couple days later you can buy KKK and Nazi memorabilia and merchandise at a gun show.

The Kentucky Expo Center said it will hold an "emergency meeting" to re-evaluate its policies after Nazi and KKK merchandise was sold at a recent event, prompting anger and outrage from Louisville residents.

"In light of the recent event at the Kentucky Exposition Center where Nazi and white supremacy items were discovered to be for sale, the chairman of the Kentucky State Fair Board will propose strengthening existing exhibitor policies at the next board meeting on Nov. 15," said Cody Patterson, a spokesman for Kentucky Venues, which includes the expo center. The fair board was originally scheduled to meet after Thanksgiving.

The merchandise was sold by vendors at the National Gun Day's annual firearm show this past weekend. The items included a white tank top with two red horizontal stripes and a patch on the chest featuring a black swastika; an authentic KKK robe used by the notorious white supremacy group; and holiday ornaments adorned with glittery swastikas. 
Mark Lynn, the chairman of the Kentucky State Fair Board, told the Courier Journal on Tuesday that he pushed for an earlier meeting to address the issue. The board's members are appointed by the governor; Lynn has served as the head of the fair board since 2013.

“Immediately I was horrified, I had no idea that was being sold," Lynn said. "It’s disappointing and frustrating. I’m one to stand up for freedoms, but this is just common sense.”

Lynn said the show contracts are too vague and they should be changed to specifically name items of hate that shouldn't be displayed or sold at future events.

One of the vendors who had Nazi memorabilia on display was Walter Kanzler, of Key Largo, Florida, who sells Nazi Christmas ornaments on his website, On the site, it says, "We specifically stress that this website is for historical interest only and has NO political agenda and/or views whatsoever."

Kanzler defended the collectibles, saying they are part of history.

“I don’t want to suppress history,” Kanzler told the Courier Journal. “They are original, I have no interest in political statements. I’m not into hate or anything like that. These things are a part of history.”

Somebody finally noticed.  Maybe it'll be stopped, but I doubt it.  There's a direct reason people sell Klan and Nazi stuff at gun shows like this all over the country, it's because the people who come to gun shows are buyers of that stuff. It's your one-stop shop for everything you need to purify the races.

Meanwhile in Washington State, turns out the white supremacist "Christian" terrorists there don't just go to gun shows, they get elected to public office as Republicans, too.

Washington state Rep. Matt Shea acknowledged Wednesday he had distributed a four-page manifesto titled “Biblical Basis for War,” which describes the Christian God as a “warrior,” details the composition and strategies of a “Holy Army” and condemns abortion and same-sex marriage.

The document is organized in 14 sections with multiple tiers of bullet points and a smattering of biblical citations. Under one heading, “Rules of War,” it makes a chilling prescription for enemies who flout “biblical law.” It states, “If they do not yield – kill all males.”

After the document was leaked online Tuesday, the Spokane Valley Republican insisted he was not promoting violence and that the message had been taken out of context.

“First of all, it was a summary of a series of sermons on biblical war in the Old Testament as part of a larger discussion on the history of warfare,” Shea said in a Facebook Live video on Wednesday. “This document, in and of itself, was not a secret. I’ve actually talked about portions of this document publicly.”

In the video, Shea also compalains about a recently published Rolling Stone profile that characterizes him as an extremist, argues that the United States is “a Christian nation” and asserts that his detractors are part of a so-called “counter state” made up of “Marxists” and “Islamists.” He dismisses criticism as nothing more than “smears and slander and innuendo and implication.”

He also delves into the philosophy known as “just war theory,” which has been endorsed by many mainstream Christians.

But critics of Shea – who embraces far-right conspiracy theories, associates with a fundamentalist religious group in northern Stevens County and champions a push for a 51st state called Liberty – saw something sinister in the document.

The document Mr. Shea wrote is not a Sunday school project or an academic study,” Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich wrote in an email. “It is a ‘how to’ manual consistent with the ideology and operating philosophy of the Christian Identity/Aryan Nations movement and the Redoubt movement of the 1990s.”

You are infinitely more likely to be killed in America by a racist asshole like this then a "Muslim terrorist" after all.

Now, we've been through the militia movement of the Clinton 90's and the post-9/11 era, but the difference here in the Trump regime is that these nutjobs are getting elected as Republicans and are making laws for the rest of us, putting themselves into positions of power at the local, state, and national level.

These assholes are dreaming of the day they can slaughter those people by the hundreds and they want a government that not only gives them permissions to do so, but helps them accomplish it.  This guy should be serving a lengthy sentence in prison, not another term in the Washington State Legislature.

And as that Rolling Stone profile of Shea alludes to, he definitely wants his own white separatist ethnostate, and he's willing to kill to make that happen.

Shea — a four-term elected official now running for a fifth — rarely sees any blowback for the things he says or for the fact that in his nine years in office he has allied with some of the most high-profile conspiracy theorists and anti-government extremists in the American West: from Cliven Bundy and his sons to a neo-Confederate Idaho preacher to the head of the Oath Keepers, an extremist group that believes “the United States is collaborating with a one-world tyrannical conspiracy called the New World Order.”

“I don’t think that the extent of [Shea’s] connections are widely known,” says Rep. Marcus Riccelli, a three-term Democrat in the state legislature who represents Spokane. “It’s a real statement of the Republican Party that someone with his extreme views has risen in the ranks of leadership.”

Long before President Trump deemed the press the “enemy of the people,” Matt Shea was refusing to speak with the media and airing his concern over conspiracy theories like FEMA camps with InfoWars’ Alex Jones. Shea also organized the Spokane chapter of the anti-Muslim ACT for America, which the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a hate group. And for the past few summers, Shea has spoken at a secretive religious community run by a man who was a foundational figure in the Christian Identity movement, which, according to the Anti-Defamation League, believes white Europeans to be the lost tribes of Israel and considers Jews to be the offspring of Eve and Satan.

Then there are the accusations about Shea’s temper. His first wife accused him of abuse, saying in divorce filings that she “belonged to him as a possession,” “could not get out of bed before him,” and that during two arguments “he grabbed me hard enough to leave bruises on my arms.”

She also said Shea believed he would one day be president of the United States, that he would be assassinated and that he “predicts a civil war.”

In 2012, Shea faced a firearms charge after he allegedly pulled a loaded gun from his glove compartment during a road-rage altercation. He was charged for having an expired concealed-weapons permit (it was later dropped; he reportedly made a deal with prosecutors for it to be dismissed if he went a year without breaking the law). Later, when his Democratic opponent reminded voters of the incident in campaign mailers, Shea retaliated by posting pictures of himself to Facebook in front of her home, listing the nearest intersection.

And yet he was re-elected that year with 56 percent of the vote; in 2016, he won with an even bigger margin, 64 percent.

The party of Donald Trump was, and still is, the party of hateful white supremacists like Matt Shea, first and foremost, and they have been for years.  There are no "good" Republicans, just the ones who haven't admitted that they think Shea is right.

Because they sure keep voting for him.


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