Most Republican voters were Trumpists before Trump, and most of the rest have converted since 2016

John Quiggin's essay about "Transactional Trumpism" really nailed it for me: if the story is that Republicans chose Trump as their candidate because they were sure that he would enact "the Republican agenda" they didn't get a very good deal: all Trump has managed is the bare minimum that any Republican would have done, putting far-right ideologues on the Supreme Court and handing gigantic tax-breaks to the super-rich. Read the rest

Marketers intentionally enrage social conservatives to promote brands

Cottonelle and Walmart have both recently produced social media video commercials starring gay men. Predictably, social conservatives flipped out, calling for boycotts and for their god to mete out punishment against the evil doers. According to Curtis Sparrer, Bospar PR principal, this is exactly what Cottonelle and Walmart were counting on.

“It looks like the marketers of both Walmart and Cottonelle were counting on social conservatives’ outrage to drive their business objectives,” said Curtis Sparrer, Bospar PR principal. “Neither video was a traditional broadcast segment, but rather produced for social media. So conservatives didn’t simply stumble across these segments, but rather they were alerted to them, likely by the companies themselves.”

"There’s a method behind the madness: marketers count on public reaction to their campaigns,” Sparrer continued. “Conservatives can be reliably counted on to provide an immediate reaction to any pro-LGBT storyline, creating a newsworthy controversy for a journalist to cover. That media coverage will not only feature both sides of the controversy but also provide top-of-mind brand recognition that research has found is more effective than traditional advertising. That means social conservatives have become useful tools for marketers and public relations. As a marketer myself I am loathe to reveal this tactic because social conservatives might get wise and not take the bait the next time a campaign features LGBT people. However since I’ve been gay longer than I’ve been in marketing I am eager for the day when LGBT people can be featured in media and people will simply react to the spot on the merits of its content.”

The American Family Association (AFA), which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, issued the following statement about the Walmart commercial:

We've seen many large corporations reject that in their marketing, but I honestly never thought Walmart would join the cultural revolution and reject the beliefs of its customer base.

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Missouri's latest senator is part of a wave of (extremely selective) Republican enthusiasm for trustbusting

When Josh Hawley was Attorney General of Missouri, he was an (extremely selective) firebreathing trustbuster who used his office to chase Google up and down the state, investigating the company's anticompetitive action and the pontential for public harm represented by its market dominance and size. Read the rest

Steve Bannon calls left-wing reporter out of the blue and unloads on alt-right and GOP

Robert Kuttner is a veteran left-wing reporter who writes for the left-leaning American Prospect; while he was on vacation, Steve Bannon's assistant tracked him down and asked him if he'd talk to Bannon. Read the rest

Milo Yiannopoulos was taken down by a 16 year old Canadian woman

"Julia" is a 16-year-old Canadian high school student who "leans right" on economics and foreign policy, and is generally disgusted with the conservative movement's pivot to reactionaries like Milo Yiannopoulos who trade in "anti-Muslim, anti-feminism, and general bigotry." Read the rest

Trump Department of Labor pick is a foreign labor exec who's brought "over 40,000" cheap workers to the USA

Veronica Birkenstock is Practical Employee Solutions, a company that boasts of having brought "over 40,000" cheap H-2B workers from 80 countries to the USA to work in "hospitality, landscaping, welding, and construction" for companies like Marriott and Starwood Hotels, for whom it is the "preferred vendor." Read the rest

Dissecting the arguments of liberal apologists for Obama's surveillance and secret war

Democratic party partisans like Sean Wilentz, George Packer and Michael Kinsley spent the Bush years condemning the tactics they now defend under Obama -- apart from sheer intellectual dishonesty, how can this be explained? Read the rest