erik lundegaard

Politics posts

Saturday December 23, 2017

Mayer Exposes Racist Nonprofit; Trump Quotes Them Praising Him

Yesterday on Twitter, Donald Trump quoted the founder of a new conservative nonprofit called Turning Point USA about the same time that The New Yorker posted Jane Mayer's exposé on them. Not sure which came first. The exposé, I think.

Mayer's piece is about how the nonprofit is both racist and has been flouting 501(c)(3) rules by engaging in politicking. Shocker:

Turning Point touts its close relationship with the President's family. The group's Web site promoted Don, Jr.,'s appearance for weeks, featuring a photo of him raising a clenched fist. Its promotional materials include a quote from the younger Trump praising Turning Point: “What you guys have done” is “just amazing.” Lara Trump, the wife of Don, Jr.,'s brother Eric, is also involved with the group. In West Palm Beach on Wednesday, she hosted a luncheon promoting Turning Point's coming Young Women's Leadership Summit. The group's twenty-four-year-old executive director and founder, Charlie Kirk, told me that he counts Don, Jr., as “a personal friend.”

That's not even the politicking. The politicking is giving the names and numbers of conservatives to help a presidential campaign—in this case, Marco Rubio's ill-fated one against Trump. As for the racism, one example Mayer gives is the org's national field director sending an email to a colleague stating, “I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like fuck them all . . . I hate blacks. End of story.”

Actually, the beginning of it.

Oh, and they also fired one of the few African-Americans who worked there, Gabrielle Fequiere, and allegedly on MLK Day. A final twist of the screw, I suppose, but I wound up having little sympathy for Fequiere, particularly after reading this quote from her:

My Democratic friends had told me that some Republicans didn't care about the poor and minorities, and I thought it wasn't true, but then I found the people they were talking about!

Good god, woman. Pay attention. Read. Use your brain—or half of it. Something.

Trump's addition to all of this was to quote the nonprofit's founder and executive director praising him:

“The President has accomplished some absolutely historic things during this past year.” Thank you Charlie Kirk of Turning Points USA. Sadly, the Fake Mainstream Media will NEVER talk about our accomplishments in their end of year reviews. We are compiling a long & beautiful list.

It's bad enough that Trump's source is this suspect, right-wing organization that'll probably be toast within a year. It's that he, the president of the United States, keeps quoting people praising him. How pathetic is that? How needy? How sad.

We gotta get out of this place.

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Posted at 06:49 PM on Dec 23, 2017 in category Politics
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Thursday November 23, 2017

Must-Read

The quote below is from “The Nationalist's Delusion,” by Andrew Serwer in The Atlantic. Please check it out. It's a brutal dismantling of the mainstream media argument that economic anxieties led to Trump. Serwer, who's African-American, is having none of it. As such, it's the must-read piece of the year, especially for anyone working at NPR, which keeps pushing the economic argument. 

I love this part in particular, because it gets at what has driven me crazy about the Trump/Obama eras:

The president's supporters have stood by him even as he has evinced every quality they described as a deal breaker under Obama. Conservatives attacked Obama's lack of faith; Trump is a thrice-married libertine who has never asked God for forgiveness. They accused Obama of being under malign foreign influence; Trump eagerly accepted the aid of a foreign adversary during the election. They accused Obama of genuflecting before Russian President Vladimir Putin; Trump has refused to even criticize Putin publicly. They attacked Obama for his ties to Tony Rezko, the crooked real-estate agent; Trump's ties to organized crime are too numerous to name. Conservatives said Obama was lazy; Trump “gets bored and likes to watch TV.” They said Obama's golfing was excessive; as of August Trump had spent nearly a fifth of his presidency golfing. They attributed Obama's intellectual prowess to his teleprompter; Trump seems unable to describe the basics of any of his own policies. They said Obama was a self-obsessed egomaniac; Trump is unable to broach topics of public concern without boasting. Conservatives said Obama quietly used the power of the state to attack his enemies; Trump has publicly attempted to use the power of the state to attack his enemies. Republicans said Obama was racially divisive; Trump has called Nazis “very fine people.” Conservatives portrayed Obama as a vapid celebrity; Trump is a vapid celebrity.

There is virtually no personality defect that conservatives accused Obama of possessing that Trump himself does not actually possess.

This is the reason why Trump's numbers won't go below what they're at now: mid-30s. As long as he remains racist, his supporters will abide anything. Even treason. 

Think about that for a moment. They'll take treason as long as he's racist. 

There's nothing good in this, and in him.  

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Posted at 07:13 AM on Nov 23, 2017 in category Politics
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Monday November 13, 2017

Breakfast with Trump

I don't know how I wound up on Donald Trump's mailing list but it's been educational. And more than a little revolting. 

Today's message addresses me as “Friend,” says he wants to hear from REAL Americans over breakfast, asks me to contribute $3 so I can enter the raffle for said breakfast, takes a sideswipe at the fourth estate—“The media is CLUELESS when it comes to understanding what voters think”—then reiterates the $3 ask.

He doesn't sign his name. Just posts his unsmiling picture over the title “President of the United States.”

How far we've fallen.

Maybe every time I get one of these I contribute that amount to the Dems? 

Trump asks for $3 contribution to enter raffle for breakfast

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Posted at 03:31 PM on Nov 13, 2017 in category Politics
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Wednesday November 08, 2017

Virginia is for Lovers

(Not haters.)

This tweet from last night tells us everything we need to know about this year's off-year election:

I do not think that I shall see/A poem as lovely as that fucking tweet.

It's not just that Dems won, it's the diversity in the winning. St. Paul, Minn., elected its first African-American mayor. Minneapolis elected an African-American trans woman to its city council with 73% of the vote. Seattle elected its first female mayor in 91 years, but that was a given, since the two main candidates were both women.

The big national news was Dems winning governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey, but the bigger news is the gains made in the Virginia house: 10 seats and counting, maybe 17, maybe enough to flip the house. From NBC News:

Virginia House Democratic Leader David Toscano called the results “unprecedented,” noting that the last time Democrats won more than five seats in a single year was 1975. “This isn't a wave, this is a tsunami,” he told NBC News.

1975 was, of course, the first election after Nixon's resignation. That's how toxic Trump is. He's three times worse than post-resignation Nixon.

And how did NPR begin yesterday's election day? By returning to 2016 battleground states and interviewing past Trump supporters about whether they're still Trump supporters. Spoiler alert: they are. Their reasoning?

  • “We wanted somebody that wasn't our enemy in the presidential seat.”
  • “And every day we get up, and even if you think Trump's having a bad day, you remember Hillary's not president.”
  • “How's your 401(k) doing? How's your stock doing? He's created jobs. He's created economic optimism. What's the old saying? You vote your pocketbook. He's fine.”

Correspondent Don Gonyea called this “revealing.” I guess it is. It reveals that NPR still thinks that repeating misperceptions and lies is reporting; that it's news

But fuck NPR. Yesterday was a good day. For once in 2017, we had a good day. 

And now I say to the Dems what Harry Rosenfeld said to Woodward and Bernstein after telling them they were working on the Watergate story together: “Now don't fuck it up.”

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Posted at 08:50 AM on Nov 08, 2017 in category Politics
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Friday November 03, 2017

Quote of the Day

“It hit me this week, around the time when Sarah Huckabee Sanders was blithely seconding Chief of Staff John Kelly's Civil War revisionism, that I missed Sean Spicer.

”I missed the panic in his eyes, which signaled a scintilla of awareness that he was peddling hooey. I missed the squeak in his voice, which suggested perhaps the tiniest smidgen of shame.

“He never seemed to me entirely at home in his domicile of deception; she dwells without evident compunction in a gaudier fairyland of grander fictions. There's no panic. No squeak. Just that repulsed expression, as if a foul odor had wafted in and she knew — just knew — that the culprit was CNN.”

-- Frank Bruni, “Sarah Huckabee Sanders Makes the Heart Grow Fonder,” in The New York Times. Read it all. The piece is brutal and glorious.

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Posted at 05:28 AM on Nov 03, 2017 in category Politics
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