Beto-mania Sweeps Texas

Beto O’Rourke is running to replace Republican misanthrope Ted Cruz.  Is it that Texans are crazy for Beto, or is it just that everyone hates Ted Cruz?

Former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner:

[He’s] Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

Former Democrat Senator Al Franken:

You have to understand that I like Ted Cruz probably more than my colleagues like Ted Cruz, and I hate Ted Cruz.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham:

If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you

I’ll let you guess who said this one:

☝️ The truth is, [Ted]’s a nasty guy. 👌 He was so nice to me. 👐 I mean, I knew it. 👋 I was watching. ☝️ I kept saying, ‘Come on Ted. Let’s go, okay.’ 👌 But he’s a nasty guy. 🖐️ Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. 👐 Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him. He’s a very – 👌 he’s got an edge that’s not good. 👐 You can’t make deals with people like that and it’s not a good thing. ☝️ It’s not a good thing for the country. 👌 Very nasty guy.

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The Conservative Trump Bashers

Since Trump’s election, arguably the most effective political opponents he has faced are the conservative “establishment” republicans who routinely rip him to shreds on twitter.

There is John Schindler, a former NSA analyst:

Then there is Rick Wilson, who had his daughter threatened with rape from the “civil” Trump crowd during the election season:

And we have Steve Schmidt, who recently announced he is leaving the GOP, after having managed many high profile GOP campaigns, some with much success.

It is a sad commentary on liberals, progressives and establishment democrats that the most effective critics of Trump so far have been right-wing pundits and strategists.  While it’s been fun to watch the conservatives eat their own and see them savage Trump, people on the left tend to forget that the conservative Trump critics are conservatives.  They don’t agree with you, they didn’t like Obama, they want a right-wing radical on the supreme court, they don’t want Medicare for all, they don’t want more social services, because they are conservatives.

People on the left forget this and instead get their feelings hurt when their conservative political brothers in arms against Trump turn their fire to the left.  Don’t be.  Take a lesson from their effective attacks, but ignore all their garbage when they attack democrats and liberals.  The left has to come up with its own agenda, it’s own alternative vision for the country.  And while we can rely on conservatives Trump critics to attack Trump, they can’t be relied upon for advice on how democrats win or what democrats should stand for.

Take a page from Bernie Sanders and other liberals, and realize that you have to present a clear vision for the future of this country to get voters to buy in and support you.  You don’t have to be a socialist, but you do have to tell voters what you want to do if you are elected.  Being I’m not Trump is not good enough.

With the latest primary win by a democrat socialist, it’s confirmed.  She did not win because she is a socialist, she won because she was very specific on what she wanted to accomplish: impeach trump, medicare for all, college for all.  Her democratic establishment opponent (who himself is fairly liberal) didn’t even bother to show up for a debate and offered no clear plan (just like Hillary never bothered to show up at mid-west states she needed to win and never bothered to tell American voters specifically what she wanted to do as a leader).

Still don’t get what I’m saying?  Tell me three specific goals Hillary Clinton said she wanted to accomplish if elected president . . . if you’re like me you probably can’t even come up with one, even though you voted for her.  The only thing that comes to mind immediately is “not Trump.”

Now tell me three specific things Trump was for?  The Wall.  Mexico pays for it.  Fight China.

If the democrats can’t get their messaging straight and only take the position that they are not Trump and rely on conservatives to do the effective political attacks against Trump, then the democratic party doesn’t have much of a future.  The republicans play for keeps, they are willing to violate the constitution to ensure they get a Trump flunky appointed to the supreme court, prevent people from voting, and refuse to say one bad word against Trump.  But you know exactly what they stand for because they repeat it over and over again until you memorize it like a catchy commercial.  They want to win, whatever the cost.

Democrats don’t need to play dirty, but they need to start making sure people know by heart what the party stands for and they need to start playing tough and act like they actually want to win because they have something they actually want to accomplish beyond “I’m not Trump.”

 

Russians Target Donald Trump Jr.

There have been a lot of development since I last posted, that have significantly changed the landscape of the Trump-Russian conspiracy.  But this latest development is significant.  In fact, George W. Bush’s own ethics chief is flat out calling the latest news “treason” or “very close to treason.”  Click here to watch the video.

So what is this treason?  If you missed it, the New York Times is reporting that Donald Trump Jr., met with an agent of the Russian government to discuss receiving Hillary’s e-mails in order to damage her campaign.  Furthermore, that the meeting was confirmed to Donald Jr., in writing, before hand.  This means that prosecutors can now prove that Donald Jr., was knowingly attempting to work with a foreign agent/government to disrupt the election, and directly connects the dots between the Trump campaign and Russian agents who stole Hillary’s e-mails.

Beyond making a direct connection between Don’s campaign and the Russian government, the article is interesting because it reports that the source of the information which led to the article was the Russian government itself.  A few days ago, Trump met with Putin and by all accounts was very friendly to Putin and kissed the Russian dictator’s ass.  Just a few days later, however, it appears that Putin has put the knife in the back of Don Jr., releasing information that directly, and in writing, ties the Trump campaign to the Russian government hackers.

It seems like little Donny Jr., is going down, and it’s the Russian government that put him there.  Perhaps Russia is disappointed that they did not get the results they wanted from Donny after he got elected.  Or perhaps Russia was just meddling in our elections to disrupt our country, which obviously it has.  But now that the election is over and they got what they wanted, Russia has no use for Trump and will slowly destroy his presidency to inflict maximum damage to our political infrastructure.  Or Maybe Donny forgot to make his loan payment to the Russian mobsters who finance his operations, and this was a reminder that he is a Russian bitch and nothing more.  Who knows.

We’ll see what happens next.

What Donald Trump’s Lies Really Mean

In 2014, the online controversy known as “Gamergate” erupted.  It started when a scorned ex boyfriend of a female gaming company executive wanted to exact revenge on his former significant other.  In order to whip up a frenzy, he made up a bunch of fake outrages about “political correctness” and poor journalist ethics in the video game industry with his ex being his target.  The controversy grew quickly from a group of loosely associated people using the Twitter hashtag #gamergate.

Eventually, the real intentions behind the controversy became clear as it turned into a harassment campaign against women video game executives, including the ex girlfriend.  The harassment culminated in death threats, rape threats, disclosing personal information on the internet, and false claims about the women trading sex for favorable articles in gamer news outlets.  In sum, it was a made up campaign of fantasies that attracted angry supporters from the internet, fueled by hate, in order to achieve a hidden agenda that would not have upset or outraged people enough on its own.

Sounds like the Donald Trump campaign?  Maybe that’s because Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, helped to fuel the #gamergate controversy through the website he ran before joining the Trump campaign.  He saw how powerful fake made up outrages could be to achieve an unrelated goal, especially when disaffected white men were empowered and told to blame a scapegoat for their own failures–women, Mexicans, blacks, Muslims, etc.

The larger story here is not Mr. Bannon’s ability to whip people into a frenzy and play on their instincts or feelings of being “taken advantage of” by the “system” and “minorities.”  It is instead the reality that some people are more than willing to completely disregard the truth if it helps them to express their anger and inner hatred of other people in a “safe” or “acceptable” way.

More intellectual or educated or less angry people can see through the scam when facts or evidence are presented.  But their reaction, to challenge how the angry mob was seduced by fake bullshit, completely misses the mark.  The truth has absolutely nothing to do with what Mr. Trump is really trying to do.  The real problem is this: Mr. Trump and his supporters are not making fact assertions, instead they are telling themselves what they need to hear to excuse what they are going to do next.

When they tell us that 3 million people voted illegally in the election without any proof, what they are really saying is that they are looking for an excuse to prevent legitimate voters from voting in the future.  When they tell us “bad people” are coming from Muslim countries, what they are really saying is they want to get rid of Muslims.  When Mr. Trump says Terrorism brought down an Egyptian airliner, a claim that is now proven to be false, what he is really saying is “look at these Muslim animals, we need to put them in their place.”

History gives us many examples of this type of totalitarian scapegoating.  But we need to look no further than 1930 Germany.  Hannah Arendt, in her book The Origin of Totalitarianism provides a helpful guide for interpreting the propaganda strategy of totalitarians. It goes like this:
  1. “Sane people” in 1930s Germany would “fact check” the Nazis’ bizarre claims about Jews as if the claims were meant to be factual.
  2. What the sane people failed to understand was that the Nazi Jew hating machine was not trying to make statements of fact, but was instead making a declaration of intent.
  3. For example, a Nazi would blame the Jews for Germany’s defeat in WW1, and the sane people would counter by saying “there’s no evidence of that.”
  4. That the Jews were responsible for this or that betrayal of the “real” Germans, however, really wasn’t the point.  Instead, the claims were only what was “required” to be true for the Nazis to justify what they were going to do next.

This explains Mr. Trump’s wild made up claims.  Did 3 million “illegals” cast votes in this election, as he asserted without any evidence?  There is no evidence of that.  But fact checking this lie is just a way of playing along with his game and ignoring the real message.  It is a distraction.

What Mr. Trump is really saying is not that 3 million illegals voted, but that he is going to need to take away the voting rights of millions of Americans. He just can’t come out and say that last part directly–not yet, anyway.  So he will instead make up lies, like the 3 million whopper, until people are so angry that they will decide that voting rights need to go in order to prevent elections from being  “unfair” or “rigged” in the future.

Anything that relies on facts is utterly useless to Mr. Trump because the “truth” really isn’t the point.  It’s really the ends, or the goal, we should be trying to figure out and combat, not the means Mr. Trump will use to get there.  So stop trying to combat his lies with facts and instead figure out what he is really trying to do and fight against it.

Nobody is listening otherwise.

Donald Trump Brings Russian Spy to Classified Briefings

As a presidential candidate, Trump begins receiving intelligence briefings that contain classified information.  He’s bringing with him one of his “advisors,” Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn who has direct ties with Russia, including Putin.  Before Flynn joined Trump campaign, he worked for Putin’s RT television network.  Flynn is in fact so close to Putin that he was seated directly next to him in one of RT’s dinner.

When Trump was asked why he’s bringing Flynn with him to the briefings, Trump responded that he does not “trust” U.S. intelligence.  I guess he favors Russian intelligence.