Trump Panders To Christian Extremists At Values Voter Summit

By Michael Stone

Theocracy alert: President Donald Trump defecates on the U.S. Constitution while delivering red meat to Christian extremists at the Values Voter Summit.

In a new low, President Donald Trump becomes the first sitting president to address the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of anti-gay Christian extremists who aim “to preserve the bedrock values of traditional marriage, religious liberty, sanctity of life, and limited government that make our nation strong.”

The annual Values Voter Summit is sponsored by Christian hate groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, groups that engage in the demonization of LGBT people by falsely portraying them as sick, vile, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation.

The event featured extreme rhetoric and hate from politicians and conservative media members from across the nation.

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50 COMMENTS

  1. @OP – In a new low, President Donald Trump becomes the first sitting president to address the Values Voter Summit,

    Setting new “great” lows, seems to be a Trump fetish!

    In scraping the very bottom of the barrel in a whole host of subject areas, it would take some serious competition to beat his standards!

    With negative marking for wrong or perverse answers, he is clocking negative (below zero) scores across the board both for answers and for methodology!

  2. Trump says:

    They don’t use the word Christmas because it’s not politically correct. You go to department stores and they’ll say Happy New Year and they’ll say other things; it’ll be red, they’ll have it painted but they don’t say it. Well, guess what? We’re saying Merry Christmas again. Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2017/10/trump-panders-christian-extremists-values-voter-summit/#qcXWYtM4G9sTLkvJ.99

    As far as I know, anyone can say Merry Christmas any time they want to say it. If employees of private companies are instructed to say *Happy holidays” so as to not bother customers who are not Christian then it’s under the terms of employment. A company policy.

    I would be pleased to inform our current deeply offended Christians that after all the (wasted) years of Bible study in my youth, I have NEVER encountered a single Bible passage that described the Christmas celebrations that are recommended by Jesus. If it’s not in the Bible then that means it was invented by mortal men and that would implicate those mortals in the sin of pride.

    If Christmas was his birthday then you’d think he would’ve partied it up on the 25th with his group of guy friends. Apparently, they hung out together on a regular basis attending dinner parties with plenty of wine served. Why not a birthday party for Jesus while they were at it?

    Imagine the Garden of Gethsemane in purple twilight with a hundred candles, sheep roasting on the spit, cases of gorgeous wine and scintillating conversation with beautiful people. Gifts of sublime creative aesthetic beauty for everyone. What a party! Can I get me an invite?! If not I would’ve crashed it somehow anyways. Too bad it never happened.

    It never happened because Jesus probably never existed and if he did it’s unlikely that he celebrated his birthday with a party at all. Middle Easterners and N. Africans don’t go for these birthday celebrations and birthdays go by with nary a mention.

    So now I will say, (with puffed up overweening arrogance) that all the TRUE Christians out there, OUGHT to be celebrating Christmas (not even on the right day) spent in solemn PRAYER. That’s it, just prayer for the whole day. Christmas trees are PAGAN! Bring one into your house and you bring Lucifer with it!! Fancy presents are SELF INDULGENCE. Every Christian should know that pride is the worst sin of all. For a real Christmas that Jesus would be proud of, let the churches throw open their doors on that day and all of the true Christians flood in there for hours of self reflection and prayer as the true puritans actually did do in times past.

    Christians. Attention please. I’m damn sick and tired of doing your homework for you. I will now pin you up against your locker and extract your lunch money from your miserable pocket, give you a shove and go on my merry way. You’re welcome.

  3. LaurieB #2
    Oct 17, 2017 at 9:26 am

    As far as I know, anyone can say Merry Christmas any time they want to say it.

    It’s just another strawman “War on Xmas” from the loony right!

    Trump says: They don’t use the word Christmas because it’s not politically correct.

    However, if they REALLY want some Xmas traditions:-
    Trump seems to have already taken on a central role! 🙂

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2017/10/trump-confirmed-as-keynote-speaker-for-anti-lgbt-conference/#li-comment-227237

    @link: –Ah! But that’s because he does not know any history about Christmas merriment and its debunking political correctness!!!

  4. Atheist: ‘Happy Christmas!’

    Christian: ‘HaHA! So you DO believe!’

    Atheist: ‘Well, no. Christmas has no religious connotations for me. It’s just a holiday.’

    Christian: ‘Well, in that case you’ve no business celebrating it, then! It’s an insult to Christianity! Christmas is a specifically CHRISTIAN holiday. If you’re not prepared to celebrate it in a specifically CHRISTIAN way, you shouldn’t celebrate it at all!’

    Atheist: ‘But these days it has become a secular holiday too, and that’s how I celebrate it.’

    Christian: ‘Then for you it’s just another holiday. But it’s not CHRISTMAS! So you shouldn’t say Happy Christmas!’

    Atheist: ‘Okaaaaaaaay. So how about Happy Holidays, then?’

    Christian: ‘Waaaaaaaah! I’m not allowed to say Happy Christmas any more! It’s religious persecution! Happy Holidays is an insult to my religion! Everyone should have to say Happy Christmas!’

    Atheist: ‘?!*$%!@%$?’

  5. Spending time pandering to nutty cliques?? – It’s not as if Trump had anything he urgently needed to do – like filling some of the empty government posts with reputable competent staff??!! 🙂

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41655117

    US President Donald Trump says his drug czar nominee has withdrawn, after he reportedly helped weaken government efforts to tackle the opioid crisis.

    Pennsylvania congressman Tom Marino pushed a bill that reportedly stripped a federal agency of the ability to freeze suspicious painkiller shipments.

    Mr Trump tweeted: “Rep Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar.”

    Experts estimate opioids could kill 500,000 Americans in the next decade.

    Also on Tuesday, Department of Justice Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he “was very concerned” about the 2016 law that was pushed by Mr Marino, known as the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act.

    Deadly addiction to the drugs – which cover everything from legal painkillers to heroin – has been described as America’s biggest public health crisis since the spread of HIV/Aids in the 1980s.

    “Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!” President Trump said in Tuesday morning’s tweet.

    But Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer said nominating Mr Marino to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy was “like putting the wolf in charge of the henhouse”.

    The decision to withdraw came one day after President Trump was pressed about the allegations surrounding Mr Marino, that were detailed in an expose by the Washington Post and CBS News’ 60 Minutes programme.

    The joint investigation found that Mr Marino and fellow Republican lawmaker, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, helped force out an official at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who was taking on the pharmaceutical firms.

    The two also pushed legislation last year that made it harder for the DEA to prevent shipments of pills to rogue pharmacies and corrupt doctors around the US, according to the report.

    Both Mr Marino and Ms Blackburn’s home states have been ravaged by the opioid epidemic.

    Ms Blackburn reportedly received $120,000 (£90,000) in campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies.

    She is now facing the political fallout in her campaign for a Senate seat in Tennessee.

    Mr Trump also said on Monday he would formally declare a national opioid emergency next week, as he pledged to do more than two months ago.

    It seems consistent, that a Trump endorsement or appointment, certifies candidates as incompetent or corrupt, and grossly unsuitable for the nominated positions!!

  6. Alan4discussion #1
    Oct 16, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Setting new “great” lows, seems to be a Trump fetish!

    I have abandoned all hope of thinking he’s sunk as low as he’s ever going to because each time I believe that he finds a new depth to plumb. After his outrageous self agrandisement recently about how he not only writes but phones the families of fallen troops and his digusting lies about Obama not doing so we’ve now just found out what he actually said to one of these widows.

    Trump’s comment to widow ‘so insensitive,’ congresswoman says
    The President told the widow of a fallen soldier that ‘he knew what he signed up for,’ according to Rep. Frederica Wilson
    Congresswoman: ‘You shouldn’t say that to a grieving widow’

    The body of Sgt. La David Johnson was returned home to the Miami area late Tuesday afternoon, with the plane receiving a water cannon salute as it arrived near the gate. The call from the President to Johnson’s widow came shortly before Johnson’s casket arrival, Wilson, a Florida Democrat, said on “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” Tuesday. “Basically he said, ‘Well, I guess he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt,” Wilson said,”

    WTF?? Her husband was killed and Trump “guesses” that still hurt?

    Like I have said many times now, he has no normal human emotions, probably not even for his own family. He’s also too dumb to learn to simulate them as many socially adept psychopaths do. In his own head a fallen soldier is of no further value and therefore of no consequence so why would a widow grieve for a sack of meat that can’t be put to useful work anymore.

    It’s hard to imagine anything worse than both losing your husband and then getting a call from the C*nt in Chief belittling your grief. Every time I think I can’t despise this revolting turd any more it seems yes I can.

  7. I see another try at Trump’s Muslim travel ban, has been blocked by the courts – so that promise is definitely running into trouble!

    Trump should have got some competent data on immigration and sought legal advice – instead of appointing sycophants to tell what he wanted to hear!

    Repeating propagandist nonsense over and over again with postures of “authority”, might impress uneducated evangelical congregations, but apparently not federal judges!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41668665

    US President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to bar citizens of eight countries from entering the US has suffered a second federal court defeat.

    “The ‘initial’ announcement of the Muslim ban, offered repeatedly and explicitly through President Trump’s own statements, forcefully and persuasively expressed his purpose in unequivocal terms,” Judge Chuang wrote.

    The Maryland decision came after a judge in Hawaii ruled that the revised policy was fulfilling Mr Trump’s campaign promise for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”, despite the addition of North Korea and Venezuela.

  8. I see the extreme Xtian cults from the USA are trying to establish themselves elsewhere!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-41697303

    The Church of Scientology has opened
    a £4.2m HQ in Birmingham.

    Grade II listed Pitmaston House, in the Moseley suburb, was snapped up in 2007 by the group, which was founded by science fiction author L Ron Hubbard.

    There was a heavy security presence around the building during an opening ceremony, at which senior church figures gave speeches.

    An request for an interview about the new “Ideal Org”, or headquarters, was turned down.

    The church claims the building, which is the second of its kind in the UK, will house a training centre and a chapel.

    A huge blue rosette and ribbons were draped across the front of the building ahead of the opening ceremony, while lighting and camera equipment could also be seen.

    Speeches were played back on two large screens erected on either side of the main entrance.

    Groups of protesters, including ex-church members, gathered outside during proceedings, according to the Birmingham Mail.

    Scientology offers believers a life improvement strategy it calls dianetics.

    People take courses of dianetics counselling, known as auditing, in the hope of ridding themselves of destructive influences from their current or past lives.

    Scientologists say it is a religion, but a string of defectors have accused it of being a dangerous cult. They allege physical and emotional abuse, brainwashing and unethical fundraising, which the church has always strongly denied.

    It has a number of celebrity followers, including Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

    It could be, that this is just another white elephant, like the still empty building they purchased in Gateshead!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-26936135

    Scientology Gateshead building still empty after seven years
    @ – 19 August 2014

    The Church of Scientology, famous for its Hollywood celebrity followers, once hailed its new home in north-east England as a centre for spiritual enlightenment. Several years on, the building lies empty and is a haven for squatters and drug users. So will it ever open?

    Beside a sparkling image of the Grade II listed building, the text says the church’s new branch will be based in the building and aim
    to make northern England “strong, prosperous and enlightened”.
    The date at the bottom reads 2009.

    Actually the North of England is already much more “enlightened” than many states in the USA, which is perhaps why this Gateshead Scientology building
    is still empty, derelict, and undeveloped, while the nearby real science, Newcastle Science City, and Science Central projects, are going ahead!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-39566230

    A £29m learning and teaching centre at a science and engineering hub has been approved.

    The facility at Newcastle Science Central will have a flexible auditorium and lecture theatre for 2,200 Newcastle University students.

    Pro-vice-chancellor Prof Suzanne Cholerton said the facility would provide an “excellent environment” for learning and research.

    The £350m hub is based on the site of the old Scottish and Newcastle brewery.

  9. Alan

    Gateshead building empty for years and a new building in Birmingham opened with fanfare. Seems like bad business. What are they up to?

  10. LaurieB #10
    Oct 22, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Seems like bad business. What are they up to?

    Business planning using the “faith-thinking” of some gullible rich sponsor, I guess!

    There was a discussion on RDFS in 2015 of the Gateshead purchase of a building for a Scientology church !

    When I passed it last month, it was still boarded up and empty!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/03/its-not-easy-being-scientology/

    As I posted on that thread:-

    The same census also found that in Northumbria, the number of Scientologists was 62.

    The neighbourhood has a diverse population, with large Jewish and Muslim communities.
    In fact, Bensham and Saltwell is the largest centre for Jewish education in Europe and attracts Talmudic students from across the world.

    If they are looking for converts from around the building in that part of Gateshead, they will have serious challenges – even from within the populations of the religious!

  11. Arkrid Sandwich #7
    Oct 18, 2017 at 2:09 am

    After his outrageous self aggrandisement recently about how he not only writes but phones the families of fallen troops
    and his digusting lies about Obama not doing so
    we’ve now just found out what he actually said to one of these widows.

    Trump’s comment to widow ‘so insensitive,’ congresswoman says
    The President told the widow of a fallen soldier that ‘he knew what he signed up for,’ according to Rep. Frederica Wilson
    Congresswoman: ‘You shouldn’t say that to a grieving widow’

    WTF?? Her husband was killed and Trump “guesses” that still hurt?

    Like I have said many times now, he has no normal human emotions, probably not even for his own family.
    He’s also too dumb to learn to simulate them as many socially adept psychopaths do.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41724827

    Widow of dead soldier hits out at Trump

    The widow of a dead US soldier says President Trump could not remember her husband’s name when he phoned to offer condolences.

    Myeshia Johnson, widow of Sgt La David Johnson, told ABC News the president’s “stumbling” had “hurt her the most”.

    “If my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risks his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name?” she added.

    Sgt La David Johnson was killed in Niger by Islamist militants this month.

    President Trump’s call of condolence made headlines when congresswoman Frederica Wilson – who heard it with the family – accused him of insensitivity.

    Rep Frederica Wilson✔@RepWilson
    Sgt. La David Johnson is a hero.
    @realDonaldTrump does not possess the character,
    empathy or grace to be president of the United States.
    3:25 AM - Oct 18, 2017

    Myeshia Johnson appeared to confirm Ms Wilson’s assertion that Mr Trump had told her her husband had known what he had signed up for when joining the military.

    So rather than apologising, Trump lied and abused the Congresswoman and then claimed the widow was lying!

    Mr Trump had already been criticised for not contacting the families of the dead servicemen right after they were killed.

    He responded to the criticism by falsely claiming that his predecessor, Barack Obama, and other former US presidents had not called the relatives of dead service members.

    So – just another example of callous bumbling incompetence – followed the standard Trump lying denial!

    Meanwhile there seem to be other liars operating on Trump’s behalf, who are also setting new lows in standards!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-41719914

    The widow of a soldier who died in Niger earlier this month says a Facebook post circulating under her name defending US President Donald Trump is fake.

    Myeshia Johnson says the post criticising Congresswoman Frederica Wilson – who has been in a war of words with Mr Trump – was written by someone claiming to be her. (see link)

  12. Trump seems to have an obsession with his IQ. He feels compelled to tell us on a regular basis how high it is and how smart he is. Commentators in the newspapers and on tv have opinions ranging from he’s a moron to he’s much more intelligent than you might suppose which when averaged out amount to no opinion whatsoever of course. The authority on the subject though is clearly Forrest Gump who informed us that “stupid is as stupid does”. So let’s look at what Trump does.

    Even the stupidest human with no experience of politics at all knows that you generally need the help of other people to get things done. Small children quickly learn that you don’t bite the hand that feeds you and it’s best not to shit on your own doorstep. Trump bites every hand that comes near him and hurls faeces around like a chimp at the zoo.

    Like a poorly programmed robot, Trump has only one mode of operation. Lie, bluff, attack. Truth, compassion, humility, apology, negotiation, compromise are not in his arsenal. So far he’s launched personal attacks on 1 in 5 Republican senators including on the man who got his revenge with the famous thumbs down and the vote that killed health care reform.

    You’d think that even Dumbity McDumb would know not to attack war widows but not Trump apparently. He feuded with the Khan family during the election campaign and has now just called Sgt LaDavid Johnson’s widow a liar. He used the London terrorist attack to launch an attack on London’s mayor in retribution for the tiniest of slights a year earlier when Mayor Khan said rather mildly that he’d prefer Hillary to win.

    For normal humans it is emotionally draining to feud with other people. It weighs on us and we’d much prefer a tranquil life. Trump feuds with everyone. It seems he has no other means of relating to people. Of course as a sociopath he doesn’t feel the emotions that bedevil the rest of us so no empathy, sympathy, remorse, regret which must help immensely when your life is one long and constant attack.

    Trump achieves nothing because he alienates everyone who might help him achieve. Even those he doesn’t specifically attack get coated in his toxic miasma and corrupted as Gen Kelly now seems to have been after his bizarre and untruthful diatribe about congresswoman Wilson.

    I don’t know what Trump’s IQ is and we’ll never find out because Trump is far too cowardly to have it tested. I only know what Trump does and judging by that he’s the stupidest person on the planet.

  13. Arkrid Sandwich #14
    Oct 24, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    For normal humans it is emotionally draining to feud with other people.

    I see this link shows the latest feud with Bob Corker, who a brighter president might have relied to support Republican tax legislation!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41729586

    Tennessee Senator Bob Corker has unleashed a blistering attack on US President Donald Trump, calling the president “utterly untruthful”.

    In a series of television interviews, Mr Corker accused the president of lying, adding that he debased the US and weakened its global standing.

  14. Kelly should be dragged out naked, hung upside-down, and beaten with a stick. He lied. Pure and simple. He was sent out there to do some damage control; so he milked the conditioned respect that people have for generals for all it’s worth. He’s a stupid man. I never trusted him. Why would he work for Trump? They’re all traitors, all scum.

    Corker seems to have some integrity. And he’s not up for reelection either. Neither is mcCain. I wonder if that plays a role.

  15. @Arkrid S. #14

    “For normal humans it is emotionally draining to feud with other people. It weighs on us and we’d much prefer a tranquil life. Trump feuds with everyone. It seems he has no other means of relating to people. Of course as a sociopath he doesn’t feel the emotions that bedevil the rest of us so no empathy, sympathy, remorse, regret which must help immensely when your life is one long and constant attack.” -Arkrid Sandwich

    True. That’s right. Normal people don’t want to have enemies. Puts a terrible strain on one. Well put. Good insights, and well-written, as always.

  16. Arkrid Sandwich #14
    Oct 24, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    I don’t know what Trump’s IQ is and we’ll never find out because Trump is far too cowardly to have it tested.

    If it was objectively tested, that would only result in a twitter tirade against the test’s “intellectually lightweight” designers and markers – with the added assertion that the result was Democrat inspired false news! 🙂

  17. In American public school systems the IQ test was administered across the board. Trump is much older than I am
    ~wink~ but there’s still a good chance that he took the test in school and his IQ score is sitting there in the old school records just like mine is.

    All we need now is a leaker. Shall we take up a collection? I’ll toss in a hundred.

  18. LaurieB #19
    Oct 24, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    All we need now is a leaker.

    Unless of course some corrupt official was paid to let him go over the answers in advance, he copied from bright people nearby, or had someone impersonating him take the tests for him! 🙂

    (Having been involved with examination security, I am well versed in the methods used by rich cheats to try to dishonestly gain qualifications!)

    Trump does however appear to have an economics degree from a top university – graduating in May 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump

    . . . . Before joining the family business – Trump followed in the footsteps of his grandmother Elizabeth and father Fred in running the family real estate company.

  19. LaurieB #19
    Oct 24, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    In American public school systems the IQ test was administered across the board.

    Trump attended independent fee-paying schools! – Kew-Forest School, and at age 13, he enrolled in the New York Military Academy, a private boarding school, (see wiki link @#20)

    Trump is much older than I am.

    Donald John Trump – Born June 14, 1946 (age 71)

    Of course geriatrics in their second childhood, have a rather poorer IQ than when they were younger! – Especially those who have neglected constructive mental activities for years, and had other people ghost-writing the work they sign, or do their thinking for them!

    https://www.homecaretechnologies.ie/index.php/mental-health-and-ageing

    The exact pattern of symptoms can vary depending on the type of dementia and which parts of the brain are most affected but key problems include:

    Difficulty thinking – understanding information, reasoning, planning, or making good judgment on issues

    Memory – usually short term memory is lost first and distant memories are better retained

    Language – the ability to speak is slowly lost

    Mobility, motivation, emotions and behaviour – which typically become erratic.

  20. Trump’s IQ is the least of our problems. Did anyone see Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ press briefing. She just gets up there and lies, like a good storm trooper. This is a very right-wing regime.

    The tax plan will not help…..

    Ah to hell with it. I’m sick of talking about this.

  21. Dan #22
    Oct 24, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    She just gets up there and lies, like a good storm trooper. This is a very right-wing regime.

    Surely you know that lying and the disparaging of honest critics and regulators, are the tools in trade of rogue, get rich quick, salesmen and their chosen crooked employees!

    Badges of religious pseudo- respectability, and public approval from preachers, also help to con the gullible!

  22. Fine speech by Flake. Rejected as sour grapes by White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders.

    What we are witnessing now is an incipient fascist revolution. What I say is not hyperbole; it is the truth.

    Trump and Bannon are leading a radical insurgency.

    I hope they do not succeed.

  23. Dan #17
    Oct 24, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Trump feuds with everyone. It seems he has no other means of relating to people.

    If he keeps feuding with Republican Senators, a small group of them can side with the Democrats and block every piece of legislation he proposes!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41743473

    A US Republican senator says he will not seek re-election, delivering a fierce attack on President Donald Trump.

    Arizona Senator Jeff Flake said “reckless, outrageous and undignified behaviour” at the top of the US government was dangerous to democracy.

    Mr Trump has previously called Mr Flake “toxic”.

    The US president is already embroiled in a row with another Republican Senator, Bob Corker.

    Before confirming his decision in a speech to the Senate, Mr Flake told the Arizona Republic newspaper “there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party”.

    Taking to the floor, he said he did not enjoy criticising the president but felt it was “a matter of duty and conscience”.

    “We must never regard as ‘normal’ the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals,” he said.

    He lamented the “flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons”.

    “I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr President, I will not be complicit,” he added.

    By Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

    Jeff Flake was facing an uphill battle in his re-election campaign next year. It wasn’t because the incumbent senator was matched up against a particularly tough Democrat, but rather because the Republican Party had shifted under his feet.

    He found himself at odds with Donald Trump and the populist, nationalist movement that swept the president to power – and facing a right-wing challenger backed by Mr Trump’s former adviser and campaign guru, Steve Bannon.

    So with poll numbers indicating he very well might be unceremoniously dumped from office, Mr Flake decided to go out on his own terms.

    It’s become almost a cliché at this point that a Republican Trump critic only finds his voice once his political career is at or near an end.

    Mr Flake’s situation is different. His career is at an end not by his choice, but by forces outside his control. He’s been an outspoken Trump critic, and soon he will be out of a job.

    Another prominent party critic of Mr Trump, John McCain, was quick to pay tribute to Mr Flake.

    US Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell said he had “witnessed a speech from a very fine man”.

    Mr Flake has long been a vocal opponent of Mr Trump, refusing to endorse him during the presidential campaign.

    For his part, Donald Trump has long wanted to oust Mr Flake, even offering to spend millions of his own money to see him unseated in primaries.

    The feud overshadowed efforts by Mr Trump to build support for his proposed tax cuts. He met Republican senators for a lunch time meeting.

    The better informed Republicans know that Trump is a national disaster in process, but most don’t have the integrity or the guts, to risk personal attacks, break with the popularist party line, and move to dump him!

    However, as his actions become more extreme and erratic, that seems to be changing!

  24. I see Trump has just invented the next counter-distraction in Twiiter allegations about Hillary and the Democrats, to provide junk news copy in the right-wing media, so as to avoid any serious discussion of his team’s complicity with Russia and Russian sponsored stooges!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41796255

    US President Donald Trump has launched a Twitter tirade about the “guilt” of Hillary Clinton and the opposition Democratic Party.

    His Sunday morning outburst came amid reports that the first arrest in the Russian collusion inquiry would be made this week, possibly as early as Monday.

    Mr Trump insisted allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russia were “phony” and a “witch hunt”.

    He said Republicans were united behind him, before urging: “DO SOMETHING!”

    Media reports say the first charges have been filed in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election to assist Mr Trump.

    It is not clear what the charges are and whom they are targeting, CNN and Reuters report, quoting unnamed sources.

    Donald J. Trump✔@realDonaldTrump
    ...are now fighting back like never before.
    There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton,
    and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!
    2:17 PM - Oct 29, 2017

    Perhaps the prosecutors should DO SOMETHING like preparing an additional set of arrest warrants for obstructing justice, perverting the course of justice, or perjuring themselves spouting “alternative facts” – ready for serving on anyone who tries to obstruct the prosecution of those targeted by Mueller’s official investigation into treason!

    US intelligence agencies have already concluded that the Russian government sought to help Mr Trump win the election.

    Mr Mueller’s investigation is looking into any links between Russia and the Trump campaign. Both deny there was any collusion.

    His team is known to have conducted extensive interviews with several current and former White House officials.

    Mr Mueller, a former FBI director, was appointed by the department of justice as special counsel in May shortly after Mr Trump fired FBI director James Comey.

    Mr Trump said {or more accurately – Mr. Trump recklessly LIED} on Friday that it was now “commonly agreed” that there was no collusion between him and Russia but said that there were links between Moscow and Mrs Clinton.

    A Congressional investigation has been opened into the case.
    Democrats say it is an attempt to divert attention from the alleged ties between Russia and Mr Trump.

    . . . . and a pretty blatant diversion at that!

  25. Despite Trump’s blustering denials and distractions:-

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-30/paul-manafort-donald-trump-russia-inquiry/9101372

    Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has been ordered to surrender to the FBI following investigations into alleged links between the campaign and Russia, according to US media reports.

    … and has now done so!

    Reports said Mr Manafort had arrived at the FBI’s Washington field office.

    The charges would be the first from the investigation of Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed to look into alleged Russian meddling to sway the election in favour of Mr Trump.

    Mr Manafort, 68, served the Trump campaign from June to August of 2016 before resigning amid reports he may have received millions in illegal payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

    Mr Mueller has been investigating Mr Manafort’s financial and real estate dealings and his prior work for that political group, the Party of Regions, which backed former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich.

    Investigators also examined potential money laundering by Mr Manafort and other possible financial crimes, sources have told Reuters.

    Mr Gates was a long-time business partner of Mr Manafort and has ties to many of the same Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs.

    He also served as deputy to Mr Manafort during his brief tenure as Mr Trump’s campaign chairman.

    Mr Trump has denied any allegations of collusion with the Russians and called the probe “a witch hunt”.

    The Kremlin also has denied the allegations.

    More to come.

    Reuters

  26. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-us-canada-41805324

    Summary

    Paul Manafort surrendered himself to authorities on Monday morning
    He served as campaign chairman for Donald Trump in the summer of 2016
    His Virginia home was raided by the FBI last August
    His deputy Rick Gates has also been ordered to turn himself in
    The FBI heads one of several investigations into alleged Russian meddling in last year’s US election
    These are the first charges revealed by FBI special counsel Robert Mueller

  27. The charging of some of Trump’s unsavoury characters begins!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41804740

    Donald Trump’s former presidential campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has been charged with conspiring to defraud the US in his dealings with Ukraine.

    The 12 charges brought against Mr Manafort and one of his business associates, Rick Gates, include conspiracy to launder money.

    The charges are the first to stem from an inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the US 2016 election.

    The indictment against the two men looks at their links to pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine between 2006 and 2015.

    According to the indictment, Mr Manafort and Mr Gates acted as “unregistered agents” of Ukrainian politician Viktor Yanukovych and his party, both in opposition and government.

    And so it begins.

    For years Paul Manafort operated on the fringes of power, a once-influential Washington player who worked with some less-than-savoury international characters because his services were no longer in high demand domestically.

    Then, like many other politicos in Donald Trump’s orbit, he was thrust into the spotlight because more established hands wanted nothing to do with the upstart’s presidential campaign.

    Mr Manafort got his big break but it may end up breaking him. That resulting spotlight has drawn attention to Mr Manafort’s past dealings and raised questions about his actions while in at the top of the Trump campaign.

    The good news for Mr Trump is these charges stem from Mr Manafort’s past business dealings, not his campaign efforts.
    He is being accused of working for years for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians and laundering millions in subsequent payments.

    Mr Manafort will be under growing pressure to co-operate with the Mueller investigation. If he offers up useful information about his time during the campaign, this could be just the first domino to fall.

  28. Trump’s attempts to deflect attention onto Hillary are pathetic and risible but you know that firstly he’ll never give it up and secondly the idiots in his base will just believe him. He kept up the birther issue for the 8 years Obama was in office, the Repubs are still whining about Benghazi 5 years after it happened so it’s a certainty that he can moan about Hillary’s campaign for at least the remaining 3 years of his term or whatever part he serves before being impeached.

    The only good bit about it of course is that we all know the louder Trump squeals the more worried he is about Manafort, Flynn etc and someone rolling over on him about collusion with Russia.

    I would like to know which charges against Manafort are federal (able to be pardoned by Trump) and which are state offences but I’m sure this will come out in due course. I also see that Trump campaign official Papadopulous has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about Russia connections and has agreed a plea deal. Hopefully we’ll find out what that involved too and if giving up dirt on Trump was any part of it. I think we can be pretty sure that Manafort is going to spill the beans if there are state charges that he knows Trump can’t make go away.

  29. Well it seems that everything Manafort has been charged with so far are federal offences but state charges may well follow in due course. He has homes in Virginia and NY and can probably be charged with tax evasion and money laundering in both if the respective Attorney Generals see fit. That’s a slam dunk in NY where both the Governor and AG are Dems, less so in Virginia depending on who wins the AG election that’s coming up.

    I’ve spoken before about the taint that Trump exudes that corrupts everyone who comes into his orbit. We thought for a while that General Kelly might be one of the grown ups in the room but it seems he has now also gone over to the darkside. His attack on the gold star widow and Rep Wilson over Trump’s condolence call was the start of it but despite telling a bunch of lies in his comments on that he’s not going to apologise and is now trying to help Trump distract from the Russia probe with calls for an investigation into Obama era deals with Russia about uranium. A dead fish if ever there was one and nothing to do with Hillary it seems despite Trump’s fixation with her.

    I’m still wondering what it will take before the majority, or even a decent percentage, of Republican congressmen finally turn on Trump. The only ones to do so thus far are two who are retiring and one who has brain cancer so it’s hardly proof that there’s any shred of “country first, party second” in Republican politics. Partisanship trumps everything it seems. Weinstein, O’Reilly, Cosby and now Kevin Spacey have fallen to sex scandals but despite admitting to being a sexual predator Trump blithely continues to claim that everyone who has accused him of actually doing that to them is a liar and no one seems to bat an eylash about it. However his approval rating is now down to 33% in the latest Gallup poll and that was taken before the Manafort news broke so maybe next week it’ll be in the 20s. At that point the worms might finally turn. Despicable bastards the lot of them btw. They still need him for tax cuts but if that fails like health care did Trump will be more or less redundant.

    What Trump now needs more desperately than anything else is a war. Hillary is no longer a big enough distraction. If Kelly has turned and is no longer any sort of moderating influence on Trump then N Korea might well be in the cross hairs and millions will die. The most dangerous animal is the cornered wounded one so expect Trump to lash out hard and soon. You know full well he won’t care how many die if it saves him from impeachment.

  30. Arkrid Sandwich #32
    Oct 31, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Hillary is no longer a big enough distraction.

    The blabber about donations to Bill Clinton’s Charity, only demonstrate the lack of ethical standards in the accusers!

    The ethical course for an official, not wishing to give offence by refusing a well meaning gift, is to suggest it is given to charity! –
    As is explained in this police code of conduct!

    http://www.derbyshire.police.uk/Documents/About-Us/Freedom-of-Information/Policies/Gifts-Gratuities-and-Hospitality-Guidance.pdf

    4. Key Principles

    Police officers, special constables and police staff are subject to standards of professional behaviour and the Code of Ethics, chief amongst which is that which relates to honesty and integrity.
    This standard specifically states that officers and staff are honest, act with integrity, do not compromise or abuse their position and makes it clear that officers and staff should never solicit the offer of any gift, gratuity, favour or hospitality in any way connected to or arising from their role within the police service, whether on or off duty.
    As a further guiding principle, police officers, special constables and staff should not accept the offer of any gift, gratuity, favour or hospitality as to do so might compromise their impartiality or give rise to a perception of such compromise.
    Offers of a gift, gratuity or hospitality vary widely according to the circumstances and will range from readily identifiable examples of criminality (such as a breach of the Bribery Act 2010) . .. . .

    6. Considerations

    A Gift should not be accepted if it is:

     Gifts of alcohol will not be accepted unless to do so would cause embarrassment. If accepted in these circumstances, the alcohol will be passed on to a suitable community organisation or charity. No alcohol will be retained by police officers or staff. Particular care should be taken in identifying the charity to donate alcohol to as some charities will not feel it appropriate to accept it due to religious, cultural or other reasons.
     From external contractors or companies tendering for work with the force or wider service;
    A cash payment (other than donations to specific police charities or police supported charities)

  31. America is no longer a Democracy. You heard it here first. It is now a Demonocracy. I’ve coined a new word to summarise a theme I’ve talked about in here for several years about the infiltration of Republican politics by the religious right. Religion has a standard model that mirrors much of what generals do in times of war. Divide the participants into “us” and “them” then demonise the other side. They eat babies, they rape women, they are not really human, they don’t feel pain like “we” do, they have no human emotions, you can kill them with impunity and you’ll be a patriot while you’re doing it. Nothing, I repeat nothing, is worse than letting the other side win.

    This is now the standard model of Republican politics too. It is the politics of hate and Trump tapped into it bigly. Hate the Mexicans, hate the muslims, hate the niggers who rule the inner cities. America can only be “great” again when all of those are gone. Anyone who tells you otherwise is one of “them” and spouting fake news. When Trump and Republicans lie, compulsively and pathologically, it’s not really lying when it’s being done for “our” side and patriotism (racism) and never forget that Dems are always worse. The tiniest Dem untruth is evidence of their demonism whereas our constant lies are only there for god and country.

    The Republican party is no longer a political party, it’s a religious cult, supported by donations from the mega rich (good honest hard working white men) and concerned primarily with giving huge tax cuts to repay them and clamping down on anything the religious hold dear like abortion and homosexuality and of course making America white again.

    Nothing can shake a religious fundamentalist’s belief because facts and evidence play no part in this. Similarly nothing can now shake a religious republican’s view that nothing Trump does could possibly be worse than letting the Dems back into power. Trump knew from the start that he could lie, cheat, steal or even kill someone on 5th Avenue and it wouldn’t shake his base. What he never learned though was that you can’t attack everyone, all the time, and still expect to get anything done. He has a sort of feral sense of what he can get away with with his base and what red meat to throw to them but he’s not smart enough to temper that for those that aren’t in his base and having no empathy he can’t see anyone else’s point of view. That’s our only saving grace, he’s too dumb to succeed at anything and he just blows up everything he touches.

    But the Demonocracy will survive him. Make no mistake about that. He’s not the cause of it, he’s just a symptom. The cause is rooted deeply in religious stupidity and racism and it’s only when the root of that has been weeded out that sanity will prevail again and America will once more be able to claim to be “great”. Until then America is just an embarrassment on the world stage.

  32. Barry Goldwater was prophetic.

    In 1994

    Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.

    and

    When you say “radical right” today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.

    This is the sort of right winger America deserves.

  33. Phil, AS, others

    I agree that the Republican party is no longer a political party; it is a radical insurgency – and I’ve said that since the Republican primaries. Demonocracy? If we have to use a word or phrase, why not just say that we’re in the midst of an incipient fascist revolution? I don’t think it’s about just religion or just race; these are elements, tools, ways of consolidating power. It’s about gaining total control, ultimately. (Fascism is not religious or racist per se. But it is always nationalistic and militaristic.) And these aren’t religious Republicans we’re dealing with; they are just Republicans. None of them would prefer a Democrat – even now. I don’t think this is as much about religion as it appears. I could be wrong. Your thoughts?

    We haven’t completely unraveled yet. Sally Yates said the DOJ is unaffected and function is normal.

    But it wouldn’t be honest if I did not admit to feeling a pervasive sense of hopelessness about this country and in turn all of us.

  34. Huckabee Sanders, that contemptible nazi from Trump’s ministry of propaganda, is speaking now. Why can’t the journalist boycott her!? They are acting like sheep! “Thank you, Sarah…” Thank you! For what! Throw some rotten tomatoes at her. Get angry! You fools.

  35. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article181884856.html

    Ms. Sanders defended Kelly’s racist remarks about the Civil War.

    Here’s a better perspective:

    Good people did fight for both the Union and Confederacy, but there were not two equal sides of the Civil War. One side, the South, fought for its “right” to forever keep black people in chains and to treat them like pets, mules or sex slaves and to beat or maim them to keep them in line while declaring that white people were superior and always needed to be recognized as such. The Confederate States of America included language in its adopted constitution ensuring that slavery could never be outlawed. For the other side, the North, the war eventually became a fight to end slavery, but only after attempts to compromise – which would have meant preserving slavery in much of the U.S. and possibly expanding it – failed.

  36. Dan #36
    Oct 31, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    I agree that the Republican party is no longer a political party;
    it is a radical insurgency –
    and I’ve said that since the Republican primaries. Demonocracy?

    It seems there are people in surprising places who share your view!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41871958

    Former US Republican President George Bush Sr has confirmed he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, labelling Donald Trump a “blowhard”.

    His son, George W Bush, said he worries that “I will be the last Republican president”, even though President Trump is a Republican.

    “This guy doesn’t know what it means to be president,” the younger man said.

    The pair’s comments come from a new book, titled The Last Republicans.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-george-hw-bush-george-w-bush-white-house-attacks-legacies-a8037951.html

    White House attacks both Bush presidents after they reportedly refused to vote for Donald Trump

    A month earlier, Trump had famously cited himself as his own best foreign policy adviser. “Because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things,” said the candidate, who had no diplomatic or military experience.

    Upon learning this, Updegrove told CNN, George W Bush told him, “Wow, this guy doesn’t know what it means to be president.”

    Yep! The self deluding Trump, is so ignorant of some subjects, that he thinks he “knows better” than the specialist experts on EVERYTHING!

    ‘Donald Trump represented everything that the Bushes abhorred’, new book claims

  37. Arkrid Sandwich #34
    Oct 31, 2017 at 8:44 am

    America is no longer a Democracy.

    There as signs it may be moving back towards being a democracy!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41910189

    Democrats have scored two significant victories in the US – in the first statewide elections since President Donald Trump came to power in January.

    In Virginia, Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie in a governorship race marked by tussles on immigration and Confederate statues.

    Phil Murphy, who beat Kim Guadagno, will be New Jersey governor.

    The results could give an early indication of how next year’s midterm congressional elections will turn out.

    New York City’s Democrat mayor was also comfortably re-elected.

    Meanwhile, Virginia voters also made history by electing their first openly transgender state legislator.

    Democrats have been craving something to celebrate after defeat in four congressional special elections this year, despite a groundswell of grassroots opposition to President Trump.

    Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

    Democrats finally have a victory of the non-moral kind. After coming up short in a handful of special elections across the US, they went to the polls in a battleground state and posted a huge win.

    How the Democrats, from governor candidate Ralph Northam on down, swept through election night in Virginia should be particularly concerning to Republicans across the US.

    Turnout from Democratic supporters surged. They ran up huge margins with college-educated voters and residents in the wealthy Northern Virginia suburbs.
    The legions of rural voters who turned out for Donald Trump in 2016 were a non-factor.

    Democrats won legislative races that were considered to be in play only in the rosiest of Democratic wave scenarios. Exit polls show a plurality of Virginians went to the polls to send a message to Mr Trump. Their top issue was healthcare. At least in Virginia, the president’s dismal approval ratings translated into ballot-box poison.

    The stage is now set for the midterm elections in 2018.
    Republicans will have a year to brace for what could be an anti-Trump tsunami forming on the horizon. What they – and Mr Trump – do next could decide their fate.

  38. Then there is this article!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41839706

    Would Donald Trump win an election today?

    Mr Trump won despite getting almost three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton.

    Since then, there have been sackings, spats with NFL players, and sabre-rattling with North Korea.

    His approval rating has fallen, and a special counsel is investigating the election itself.

    Verdict 1: Trump is in trouble

    After shocking the world in November 2016, Mr Trump sent Allan Lichtman a handwritten note.

    “Professor – congrats – good call,” it said.

    In the article, Professor Lichtman said that – despite what most experts thought – Mr Trump was heading for the White House.

    For the ninth presidential election in a row, he called it right. So how would Mr Trump do in a hypothetical election today?

    “There are probably enough negative keys to predict his defeat,” says Professor Lichtman, who teaches at American University.

    The professor uses 13 “keys” to predict elections. They focus on the incumbent party, and cover the economy, scandal, the candidates’ charisma, and other areas.

    It is “very difficult” to call an early, hypothetical election, Professor Lichtman says. For example: one of his “keys” is the mid-term elections, which haven’t happened yet.

    But he says things aren’t looking good for the president, with a lack of significant achievements and “scandals piling up”, although the economy is currently a positive.

    Mr Trump himself is also a drag on his chances, he says. “The very, very negative personal ratings would count against him.”

    He thinks the scandals are so great, he wrote a book predicting Mr Trump’s impeachment. Does he stand by that?

    “You bet I’m standing by it,” he says.

  39. There’s a lot of good news to pick through from yesterday’s elections. Maybe the worst news for Trump and the best for Robert Mueller is that Dems took the Governor’s seat and also the Attorney General’s in Virginia which means Mueller can charge Paul Manafort with state crimes there as well as in NY now which Trump can’t pardon. That could have a material effect on how far Mueller can flip Manafort to spill whatever beans he’s in possession of.

    On the west coast the blue party now have the trifecta (Governorship, Senate and House control) in Cali, Oregon and now Washington state too. Those three states combined represent the world’s 6th largest economy if they were a country and will be a bastion against Trumpism on climate change, the environment, science, sanctuary cities and LGBT issues.

    However it’s still hardly a dent in the Republican trifecta states which applies to most of the central part of the lower 48 and the bible belt.

    Trump has immediately tried to distance himself from the losses although it’s all clearly a reflection of how disillusioned people are with him. Nothing of course is ever his own fault even though in reality nearly everything that goes wrong around him is.

  40. Before anyone gets too encouraged by yesterday’s voting there’s an interesting article in Politico from a reporter who visited Johnstown PA to see why Trump voters are still so enamoured of him despite him doing nothing for them.

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/08/donald-trump-johnstown-pennsylvania-supporters-215800

    The central message seems to be they never really thought he’d keep to his promises but don’t even seem to care about those anymore for some reason. They just like how he rants and raves about everything as though that’s somehow expressing their own frustrations. However the following exchange with one resident shows us just how low information these people really are.

    “Everybody I talk to,” he said, “realizes it’s not Trump who’s dragging his feet. Trump’s probably the most diligent, hardest-working president we’ve ever had in our lifetimes. It’s not like he sleeps in till noon and goes golfing every weekend, like the last president did.”

    I stopped him, informing him that, yes, Barack Obama liked to golf, but Trump in fact does golf a lot, too—more, in fact.

    Del Signore was surprised to hear this.

    “Does he?” he said.

    “Yes,” I said.

    That level of lack of information about what Trump really does with his time truly boggles the mind. How can anyone in the USA not know that Trump has gone golfing nearly every week of his presidency and does fuck all constructive even when he isn’t golfing? The main reason of course is Fox News. People watch the coverage that fits their pre-conceived notions and never escape from the bubble into the world of truth. Like religious zealots, anything that contradicts their own existing opinion is fake news which Trump has done a great job of promoting.

    You can’t get people to vote properly when they’re too stupid to understand what it is they’re voting about.

  41. Oh, and one family in the article above said that the NFL, and the controversy about players taking a knee, stands for Niggers For Life. Just lest we forget how much racism played into the last election.

  42. False news twitterings, seem to be a popular false-news source often quoted by the extreme right!

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/02/las-vegas-shooting-facebook-google-fake-news-shooter

    Facebook and Google promote politicized fake news about Las Vegas shooter

    The spread of rightwing blogs, claiming the shooter was an anti-Trump liberal, on to mainstream platforms is the latest example of hyper-partisan trolling after a tragedy

    Facebook and Google promoted false news stories claiming that the shooter who killed more than 50 people in Las Vegas was a Democrat who opposed Donald Trump. The misidentification spread rapidly from dark corners of the internet to mainstream platforms just hours after hundreds were injured at a festival near the Mandalay Bay casino, the latest example of fake news polluting social media amid a breaking news story. Police have identified Stephen Paddock as the suspect who opened fire from a high-rise hotel room, killing scores and injuring hundreds more. But before authorities named the 64-year-old Nevada man, some on the far right falsely identified the man behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history as Geary Danley. It’s unclear where exactly the hoax originated, but rightwing users aggressively promoted his name, seizing on evidence that he was a liberal.

    On 4chan, the anonymous message board and a favorite platform of the “alt-right”, some noted that Danley was a registered Democrat. Soon after, Gateway Pundit, a conspiracy-laden blog that earned White House credentials under Trump, published an evidence-free story headlined, “Las Vegas Shooter Reportedly a Democrat Who Liked Rachel Maddow, MoveOn.org and Associated with Anti-Trump Army”. The piece was based on a review of Facebook “likes”.

    Despite the fact that the claims were unproven and coming from non-credible sources, Facebook’s “Safety Check” page, which is supposed to help people connect with loved ones during the crisis, ended up briefly promoting a story that said the shooter had “Trump-hating” views, along with links to a number of other hoaxes and scams, according to screenshots. At the same time, Google users who searched Geary Danley’s name were at one point directed to the 4chan thread filled with false claims.

    The rightwing users’ successful manipulation of social media algorithms to politicize a tragedy speaks to a relatively new pattern of online abuse. While users of Twitter and Reddit memorably misidentified the suspect behind the Boston marathon bombing in 2013, fake news during global tragedies and terrorist attacks over the last year has increasingly gone beyond careless reporting and retweeting to overt exploitation and targeted disinformation campaigns.

    Facebook attempted to downplay its role in promoting false stories, saying in a statement: “Our Global Security Operations Center spotted these posts this morning and we have removed them. However, their removal was delayed, allowing them to be screen captured and circulated online. We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused.”

    Binkowski noted that the online debates about possible political affiliations of the suspect distract from meaningful policy discussions about gun control.

    “People would rather debate whether the mass shooter is a Republican or Democrat … than address structural issues,” she said.

    Beyond the politically charged fake news, a wide range of hoaxes and irresponsible reporting clouded social media on Monday. A number of viral tweets posted fake accounts of missing victims, according to BuzzFeed.

  43. . . . and again with the Texas shooter!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-41915065

    Google says it is “not happy” that its search results displayed false information about Texas gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, who killed 26 people.

    The search engine displayed a carousel of posts “popular on Twitter” that contained false stories that Kelley was a Muslim and a left-wing extremist.

    Google’s Danny Sullivan said the tweets were promoted by the site’s “ranking algorithm”, which would be improved.

    “We want to get this right,” he said on Twitter.

    Google was criticised in October after the Top Stories section of its search results contained fake news about the Las Vegas shooting.

    Mr Sullivan, who is Google’s public liaison for search, said changes to the site’s algorithms had prevented the same situation happening with the Texas shooting.

    “We took deserved criticism after our Top Stories section carried misleading information after the Las Vegas shooting,” he wrote.

    “Early changes put in place after Las Vegas shootings seemed to help with Texas.”

    However, this time it displayed false tweets in its search results suggesting Kelley was a member of a pro-Bernie Sanders group, that he had converted to Islam and that he was a “radical alt-left” activist.

    Mr Sullivan said the false tweets appeared for only a “short time” and they were displayed below legitimate search results.

    He promised the feature would be improved over time.

    But some people criticised Google for keeping the function on its search results before it was fixed.

    “Just kill the feature until it works,” said journalist Peter Bright.

  44. As at the time I’m writing this is Trump’s last tweet on 11th November.

    “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me “old,” when I would NEVER call him “short and fat?” Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!”

    It’s not so much the first half, the insults, that bother me because that’s all Trump ever does. It’s the second part, the mocking tone, the tongue in cheek “I try to be his friend” after the weeks of non stop threats and insults he’s aimed at Kim that concerns me. This is an actual potential nuclear conflict with all the horror that involves and Trump seems to be treating it like a game. Like children calling each other out in the playground.

    We know that Trump is unhinged, we know that he’d love a war to take people’s attention off Russiagate. Bush did that in Iraq and Afghanistan and the world is still paying for it and will continue to do so for many years to come with no guarantee that even if Isis is defeated something else won’t come along to replace it. However even that idiocy pales in comparison with the after effects of a nuclear conflict.

    A year ago what I’m about to say would have sounded crazy but we might have to rely on Kim Jong Un being the grown up one out of the two presidents when the American one is mentally ill and possibly going senile.

    I have no doubt that of all the dangerous and disturbed men who’ve been around during my time on this planet, men like Idi Amin, Mugabbe, Gadafi, Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden, the potentially most dangerous of all is Donald Trump. In fact in terms of actual deaths and harm done to the greatest number of people I would say that his predecessor Bush II is the worst to date during my lifetime. Bin Laden was certainly responsible for several thousand deaths but Bush killed hundreds of thousands in Iraq and displaced millions from their homes.

    The office of POTUS is simply too powerful and too unchecked for even a sane president never mind a deranged one like Trump. I think the most concerning thing is that Trump has never really had to face the consequences of any of his actions and his narcissism means he believes himself to be perfect and infallible. I really doubt if he can understand that a war with Kim is not a “winnable” thing for anyone concerned or that there is no guarantee it’ll all just “work out for the best” because Trump thinks he leads a charmed life.

    For a while I believed that maybe General Kelly had positioned himself close to Trump in case he needed to make one last sacrifice for his country with a timely bullet. Since the Niger business however and Kelly’s treatment of congresswoman Wilson and the soldier’s widow I’m no longer so sure. I really don’t think there is anything to prevent Trump triggering a holocaust and even if such checks and balances were supposedly in place I doubt if he’d take any notice of them.

    The Founding Fathers placed a lot of reliance in the election process they instigated where through debate and analysis at local, then state, then country level the cream of the crop of suitable candidates was supposed to be winnowed down to the very best man for the job. I doubt they could have forseen that in 200 years time the effects of money, religion, gerrymandering and partisanship coupled with voters too stupid to tie their own shoelaces, would mean that a mentally ill narcissistic sociopath could inherit the oval office. If they had I suspect they’d have placed a lot more checks and balances on the power of the presidency. By any sane person’s definition we now have what is surely the least suitable person out of all 7.5 billion on the planet in that office.

    I don’t like to be either defeatist or unduly alarmist but I’m struggling to see a way out of this that doesn’t involve about 20 grams of lead.

  45. The office of POTUS is simply too powerful and too unchecked for even a sane president never mind a deranged one like Trump.

    Yep. It is quite likely that the office will be filled by someone fairly high on the Psychpathic Personality Inventory. It would be good to put officers around the POTUS with the express responsibility of at least flagging instances where deficiencies occur. Better would be simply embedding expertise in the whole apparatus of government and make it less easy to meddle with it through short term populist “democratic” processes. Far too many important roles are given over to elections to office in the US. Small governments are rapidly fucked.

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