This is your periodic reminder that Trump’s minions are racist

Colleague: Bannon Said Curbing Black Vote Wouldn’t Be ‘Such A Bad Thing’:

With a twist in the anecdote:

The former screenwriting partner of Donald Trump’s senior aide Steve Bannon said that he once mused that it might be beneficial to restrict African Americans’ voting access.

Writer Julia Jones told the New York Times in an interview that Bannon, who was recently named as Trump’s chief White House strategist, would occasionally claim that some people were genetically superior and once suggested that the vote should be limited to property owners.

Jones said she told Bannon that such a policy would “exclude a lot of African-Americans.”

According to Jones, Bannon replied, “Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.”

Jones asked specifically about his longtime executive assistant Wendy Colbert, who is black.

“She’s different. She’s family,” Jones said he replied.

Back in the day, I had a summer job at a One Hour Photo. The (assistant?) manager there was not just a racist, but an honest-to-God card-carrying member of the KKK. Like Bannon, he made “exceptions” to his racist dogma, too. In his case it was people like Michael Jordan who were “okay.” ¯\_(⊙︿⊙)_/¯

(Via All TPM News)

Not Holding My Breath

House Dems Press Chaffetz For Oversight Of Trump’s Business Conflicts:

Before he was re-elected to Congress, Chaffetz promised his constituents that he would hold the president-elect accountable, whether it was Trump or Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t care who is in the White House. My Job is not to be a cheerleader for the president. My job is to hold them accountable and to provide that oversight,” the letter quotes Chaffetz as saying in August during an interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto.

There’s a bit I do with Chandra where I point at my nose and inhale sharply, to indicate “not holding my breath.” This is one of those times, but I do encourage Democrats to keep pushing on this.

(Via All TPM News)

Some Fake News Publishers Just Happen to Be Donald Trump’s Cronies

Some Fake News Publishers Just Happen to Be Donald Trump’s Cronies:

The extraordinary phenomenon of fake news spread by Facebook and other social media during the 2016 presidential election has been largely portrayed as a lucky break for Donald Trump.

By that reckoning, entrepreneurial Macedonian teenagers, opportunists in Tbilisi and California millennials have exploited social media algorithms in order to make money — only incidentally leading to the viral proliferation of mostly anti-Clinton and anti-Obama hoaxes and conspiracy theories that thrilled many Trump supporters. The Washington Post published a shoddy report on Thursday alleging that Russian state-sponsored propagandists were seeking to promote Trump through fabricated stories for their own reasons, independent of the candidate himself.

But a closer look reveals that some of the biggest fake news providers were run by experienced political operators well within the orbit of Donald Trump’s political advisers and consultants.

(Via The Intercept)

The 14 Characteristics of Fascism, by Lawrence Britt, Spring 2003

Here’s a fun game! Look at The 14 Characteristics of Fascism and see how many of them apply to the US in general, or Donald Trump in particular. Are we a fascist society? What would it take to become one? I’ll pull the item titles below, but follow the link for a fuller description of each.

  1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
  2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
  3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
  4. Supremacy of the Military
  5. Rampant Sexism
  6. Controlled Mass Media
  7. Obsession with National Security
  8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
  9. Corporate Power is Protected
  10. Labor Power is Suppressed
  11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
  12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
  13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
  14. Fraudulent Elections

By my reckoning, the US has nearly half of these characteristics, even without Trump’s stubby thumb on the scales. He (and Republicans more broadly) add another four easily, and promise to exaggerate some of the others we’re already dealing with. that’s what— about three-quarters of the way to the full set? Yay, us. 

 From Salon, a piece on Trump’s nomination for Secretary of Education:

Betsy also serves on the board of the Acton Institute, which merges corporate interests with dominion theology, or the belief that Christians should take control of political and social institutions. Earlier this month, the Acton Institute published a blog post titled, “Bring back child labor: Work is a gift our kids can handle.” (The headline on the article has removed “Bring back child labor,” though that clause still lives on the URL, and was captured in tweets before it was changed.)

Because who doesn’t long for the days when you could send a ten year old off to the mines? Or if coal isn’t your thing, you could pack junior off to be a migrant farm worker once all those pesky brown people have been kicked out. Let homework and learnin’ be a distant memory.

The Electoral College has to save us…from itself?

There’s a lot of good stuff in “The Electoral College Was Meant to Stop Men Like Trump From Being President,” but the article ends with this clunker.  

Democracy is a crucial component of American government. But, as Fareed Zakaria has argued, more democracy isn’t always better. For most of American history, political parties were not internally democratic. They aren’t in most democracies around the world. Yet during the primaries, when GOP elites sought to block Trump’s nomination, the media generally described their efforts as undemocratic. Which made them almost impossible to publicly defend.

I didn’t defend them either. I was wrong. Before this election, I supported abolishing the Electoral College. Now I think America needs electors who, in times of national emergency, can prevent demagogues from taking power.

Go ahead and call me an elitist; Donald Trump has changed the way I view American government. Before this year, I would have considered Hamilton’s demand for independent-minded electors who could prevent candidates with “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” from winning the presidency to be antiquated and retrograde. Now I think the framers were prescient and I was naïve. Eighteen months ago, I could never have imagined President Donald Trump. Now I’m grateful that, two hundred and twenty-seven years ago, they did.

The problem here is that Donald Trump lost the popular vote. If the US had a straight-up popular vote for President (“more democracy” as Fareed Zakaria puts it), we wouldn’t be having any of these conversations. It’s not democracy that’s got us in this state, it’s the Electoral College itself— or at least the current version of it that shackles electors to a winner take all system. It’s not like voters elected Trump. If anything, we rejected him, and as more votes are tallied we did so by ever-increasing margins. According to the Cook Report, Hillary Clinton currently has over 2.2 million more votes than Trump, and percentage-wise beats him 48.2% to 46.5%. Arguing that we need the Electoral College to prevent a demagogue from taking power when it’s the Electoral College who is about to put a demagogue in power is completely absurd.

Seems like a reasonable resemblance to me

I hear DJT doesn’t like this photo. I don’t really see why— it strikes me as an accurate representation of his soul.

Trump derp face

Here’s an image I’m toying with using for him that maybe he’ll like better:

Donald Trump is an orange asshole who lost the popular vote

Okay, this may require some explanation:

  • Donald J. Trump is an asshole. Therefore, he is represented here as an asshole (consider this an homage to Kurt Vonnegut as well). 
  • Donald J. Trump is crude. My drawing of the asshole is also crude.
  • Donald J. Trump is orange. That’s why the asshole is orange. 
  • Donald J. Trump lost the popular vote. Thus the asterisk on the asshole.

Now that I think about it, “The Asterisk on the Asshole” would also make a good memoir title for him.