Republican party more or less doomed to Trumpism, white supremacy, self-loathing

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The Republican Party spent decades telling its base to hate and mistrust the mainstream media. But now conservative outlets are lurching to the far right, taking the base with it and leaving the party and its brand of conservatism stranded in political no-mans land.

As [former George W. Bush speechwriter David] Frum predicted and we’ve witnessed over the years, there is not much the Republican Congressional leadership can do to satisfy these folks in the right wing media because their ratings rely on fomenting anger and threats to “blow shit up!” I suspect this is precisely why Paul Ryan resisted taking on the role of House Speaker after John Boehner was ejected from his leadership position. He knows that he is now the target and this won’t end well.

Four years ago, I wrote "this is American conservatism's immune system going into anaphylactic shock. Fun to watch, while it lasts!"

It's not fun anymore. Read the rest

$1m taken in by random guy promising "Dinner with Trump"

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The right wing of American politics has long been a grifter's paradise, but Ian Hawes raked in $1m in a matter of weeks with Facebook ads promising dinner with Donald Trump. Politico reports that the supposed political action committee behind it is designed to resemble the official campaign site, has spent none of its takings promoting his candidacy, and that no-one has had dinner with Trump.

One is at donaldjtrump.com; the other is at dinnerwithtrump.org. The first belongs to Trump’s campaign. The second is a scheme run by Ian Hawes, a 25-year-old Maryland man who has no affiliation with Trump or his campaign and who has preyed on more than 20,000 unsuspecting donors, collecting more than $1 million in the process. ... “I feel ripped off and taken advantage of. This is horrible. That was not my intent,” said Mary Pat Kulina, who owns a paper-shredding company in Maryland and gave $265 to Hawes’s group. Kulina thought she had given to Trump’s campaign until told otherwise by POLITICO. “This is robbery,” she said. “I want my money back and I want them to add up what they stole from people and give it to Donald Trump.”

It's not the only lookalike site he's operating either. The fact that there is no real Trump campaign organization makes it easy for people to fill the gaps like this: there's simply no official competition for attention in the venues where actigrift takes place. Read the rest

Music video features trash-talking UN smackdown

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The official video for Nobody Speak, by DJ Shadow and Run The Jewels, was directed by Sam Pilling and stars Igor Tsyshkevych and Ian Bailey as very NSFW diplomats on a tear.

The video depicts a meeting of leaders that quickly descends into chaos, a scene not unlike what is unfolding in governments around the globe... Says DJ Shadow: "We wanted to make a positive, life-affirming video that captures politicians at their election-year best. We got this instead.”

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Maine Gov. LePaige: people of color are the enemy

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Paul LePage, the Republican governor of Maine, told reporters that people of color are the enemy in his state. Read the rest

Before Breitbart, before Trump, Bannon bullied people in Biosphere 2

Steve Bannon, head of  Breitbart News, was named to the new position of campaign chief executive officer. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The Breitbart chief and Trump campaign CEO's sexist bullying was evident in the early days of Biosphere 2 in Arizona, then a quasi “space colonization” and environmental research project.

Stephen K. Bannon, who recently took a leave from running Breitbart.com to become Donald Trump’s chief campaign executive, once bullied women in the historic environmental research project known as Biosphere 2.

He called a female science researcher who wrote a report about safety concerns a “deluded” “bimbo,” and threatened to “ram it down her (expletive) throat.” He also threatened to “kick her ass.”

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Trump says Hillary Clinton is a 'bigot'

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Millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump has a knack for projecting criticisms of himself back onto his opponents, however hamfistedly. The latest: Hillary Clinton is a bigot.

"Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future," Trump said, reading from prepared remarks.

Unlike past lines that have drawn scrutiny, including Monday's comments in Ohio about African Americans not being able to walk the street without being shot, this one was not a Trump ad-lib. ...

Clinton, for her part, has repeatedly declined opportunities to call Trump himself a racist, despite repeated questioning on the subject and multiple labelings of some of his campaign statements as racist by her campaign.

Trump's guest for the evening was UK far-right leader Nigel Farage, who as a younger man boasted that his initials matched those of the white supremacist National Front and sang jaunty ditties about gassing jews. Read the rest

Unsuccessful hack targeted New York Times in Moscow, FBI blames Russia

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U.S. officials are investigating online security attacks that targeted reporters at The New York Times in Moscow. A U.S. official said Tuesday that the Times was among various U.S. news organizations targeted. CNN was first to report the story, and the Times has since confirmed and corrected some details.

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Trump cancels campaign events: is he sick or is he sad?

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Amid continued weak polling, millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump has canceled forthcoming rallies and events in Colorado, Nevada and Oregon. He'll still be attending fundraisers, reports Eliza Collins.

Trump was originally scheduled to make a speech on immigration in Denver on Thursday, but according to The Denver Post the speech has been postponed. The campaign said that his speech was "still being modified." Trump will, however, attend a fundraiser in Aspen, according to the Post.

Nevada’s KTNV also reported Monday that Trump’s Friday rally in Las Vegas was canceled, but his fundraiser in Lake Tahoe the same day is still on. According to KTNV, the campaign did not give a reason for the rally cancellation. He is expected to participate in a roundtable in Las Vegas, possibly on immigration.

Both a rally and fundraiser in Portland, Ore., scheduled for Aug. 31 were canceled, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. The Trump campaign cited the Republican nominee’s trip to Louisiana last Friday as the reason his calendar has been changed, according to OPB.

Probably just needs a break; for all the conspiracy theories put out about Hillary having a mysterious illness, Trump is 70 years old and never did release any medical info about himself that wasn't obviously written by himself.

Also, with a new campaign team, maybe radical changes are being made: the nigh-mythological pivot that only ever seems to be a pirouette. That said, his numbers are in such dire shape, you have to wonder if he's decided to coast and focus on what comes after November. Read the rest

Listen: Florida congressional candidate losing his temper with a reporter

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Dan Bongino is a former secret serviceman running for office in Florida. In a tweet, he suggested that coverage of his backers in Naples Daily News was "propaganda."

Asked by Politico reporter Marc Caputo to be specific, they end up on a call (after some Twitter trash talk), where things go horribly wrong for Bongino. (The action gets most classy about 7m 30s in)

Caputo's being tricky—Bongino's "propaganda" remark isn't aimed at any specific claim in a specific story, even if it was a response to a tweeted Daily News URL. But Caputo knows how to work an angry idiot, and Bongino soon shits himself on a recorded call.

BONGINO: Marc, listen, you go fuck yourself.

CAPUTO: Awwwww, Dan, you're so angry!

[Crosstalk]

BONGINO: My entire following has been developed by beating on people like you. ... My audience is far bigger than yours.

Indiscreet, so say the least. But this is a fellow who talks of himself in the third person.

Read the rest

Sidelined Trump campaign chief quits, rumored to be target of federal investigation over Ukraine ties

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Sidelined but not fired by Republican millionaire Donald Trump to make way for a new campaign manager, Paul Manafort is nonetheless resigning from his post. The rumor? He's under federal investigation for his role in shady goings-on in Ukranian politics.

Mr. Manafort left nearly a week after a New York Times report about tumult within the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign helped precipitate a shakeup of the campaign’s leadership. His departure reflects repeated efforts to steady a campaign that has been frequently roiled by the behavior of its tempestuous first-time candidate.

Mr. Manafort was also dogged by reports about secretive efforts he made to help the former pro-Russian government in Ukraine, where he has worked on and off over several years. He had also become viewed with trepidation by Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and a major force within the campaign, amid a number of false starts since the Republican National Convention, according to three people briefed on the matter.

U.S. lobbyists must declare their representation of foreign interests; he did not. Manafort, if found guilty of violating these rules, would be a felon facing "up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000," according to the Associated Press. Read the rest

'Sassy Trump' can't resist lying to you people. Fresh mockery from Peter Serafinowicz.

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A new 'Sassy Trump' video in which the comic genius Peter Serafinowicz takes Trump's own words and gives them new life.

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Breitbart's Stephen Bannon, now Trump's new CEO, reveals his master plan

Steve Bannon, head of  Breitbart News, was named to the new position of campaign chief executive officer. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Stephen Bannon is taking a leave of absence from running Breitbart.com to become chief wrangler of Donald Trump's goat rodeo of a presidential campaign. Bannon is a Harvard MBA who once worked at Goldman Sachs, and got rich off the TV comedy Seinfeld.

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Trump has never met or called his only Ph.D. economic advisor

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UC Irvine economist Peter Navarro, a hand-picked Trump economic advisor: "Navarro has never met Trump in person. And as for speaking with him by phone, he acknowledges, 'I have never had the pleasure.'" Read the rest

The guy who started Serbia's ethnic cleansing led a pro-Trump rally in Belgrade

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Vojislav Seselj, leader of the Serbian Radical Party and loud-mouthed bigot whose racist invective kicked off Serbia's horrific ethnic cleansing campaign, led a pro-Trump rally in Belgrade to protest the state visit of Democratic VP Joe Biden. Read the rest

Trump hires Breitbart boss to run his campaign

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In a last-ditch effort to shake up his faltering presidential campaign, Republican millionaire Donald Trump has hired Stephen Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, to run it.

The news, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, was confirmed early Wednesday by Ms. Conway in a brief interview, but she rejected the idea that the changes amounted to a shake-up and said that Mr. Manafort was not being diminished. ... People briefed on the move said that it reflected Mr. Trump’s realization that his campaign was at a crisis point. But it indicates that the candidate — who has chafed at making the types of changes his current aides have asked for, even though he had acknowledged they would need to occur — has decided to embrace his aggressive style for the duration of the race.

Current campaign chairman Paul Manafort isn't being fired, reports the New York Times, but the rather obvious sidelining will be seen as a "demotion." Manafort was exposed last weekend by the Times as the named recipient of $12.7m in cash for consulting services in Ukraine on a "secret ledger."

Bannon reportedly has no experience of running a political campaign, but was described by Andrew Breitbart himself as "the Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement."

Breitbart's own coverage of the unexpected move comprised of several hundred words copied and pasted from the New York Times.

Read the rest

Roger Ailes is Donald Trump's new campaign advisor, reports say. Oh, what a pair.

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Former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, kicked out last month over sexual harassment charges, has been advising GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump, as the self-described billionaire candidate prepares for the fall presidential debates.

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TV news pioneer John McLaughlin dies at 89

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John McLaughlin has died, at 89. The host of a long-running political TV chat show was once a Jesuit priest, and also wrote speeches for President Richard M. Nixon. He was a conservative provocateur with a “pugnacious style” on his political chat show, and sometimes interrupted his guests or yelled “Wronnng!” in response to their commentary. Read the rest

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