Friday, July 19, 2019


Worse than Wallace

Notice the shift?
“That’s why I say: If they don’t like it, let them leave,” Trump said. . . . “I’m just saying it’s their choice, they can come back when they want.”
‘Send Her Back’: The Bigoted Rallying Cry of Trump 2020

‘Fox & Friends’ Defends ‘Send Her Back’ Chant: It’s Just Like a Football Game Chant
Has he gone too far even for some Republicans?
[Rep. Mark Walker, R-NC] Though it was brief, I struggled with the “send her back” chant tonight referencing Rep. Omar. Her history, words & actions reveal her great disdain for both America & Israel. That should be our focus and not phrasing that’s painful to our friends in the minority communities. [read on]
British broadcaster and President Trump fan Piers Morgan described his disgust over what was chanted at a Trump rally on Wednesday evening . . . “I feared this kind of horrifying scene might ensue after Trump had so recklessly and offensively instructed Omar and her four-woman ‘Squad’ of young female Democrats to ‘go back’ to their own ‘crime infested’ countries of origin,” Morgan wrote. “But to actually watch and hear a large gathering of thousands of predominantly white Americans chanting such a blatant infamous racist trope about a democratically elected fellow American made me shudder.” “Then it made me angry. This should not be happening in modern America,” Morgan continued. “And the fact Donald Trump is not just allowing it to happen, but actively encouraging it to happen, is an indefensible disgrace.”
“I didn’t watch the rally last night, but there’s no place for that kind of talk. I don’t agree with it.”
           — NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer (R-MN)
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Thursday morning called a chant that broke out at President Donald Trump's rally the previous night -- when the crowd yelled "send her back" as the President targeted Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota -- "ugly" and "wrong" and said it "would send chills down the spines of our Founding Fathers."
“I challenge every Republican to watch Donald Trump’s rally last night, complete with chants of ‘Send her back,’ and ask if that is the Party of Lincoln and Reagan we signed up for. We are in a fight for the soul of the GOP, and silence is not an option.”
          — Former Gov. William Weld (R) 

GOP Worried About Fallout from ‘Send Her Back’ Chants

Go to hell, Lindsey
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) defended President Donald Trump’s racist attacks on Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar and his supporters’ chants of “send her back” Wednesday night, saying that they weren’t racist because the comments only applied to those who did not support Trump. . . .

Now Trump says -- get this -- that he had nothing to do with the "send her back!" chant, and tried to stop it. That is a complete lie 
“I was not happy with it. I disagree with it,” Trump told reporters. “I didn’t say that, they did.”

What Trump said:
[Trump] “If they don’t love it, tell them to leave it . . .”
[Trump] "So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe . . . Why don’t they go back . . you can’t leave fast enough." 

[NB: A quick Google search shows numerous instances over the past few years of Trump saying "send them back" about one group or another.] 

Donald Trump says today that he tried really hard to shut down the “Send her back!” chants at his rally last night. Here is Trump trying really hard . . . [watch]
Here’s what really happened . . .
As the better parts of America recoil from what looked, to many, like a bargain-bin Nuremberg rally, Trump attempts to detach himself from the consequences of his own rhetoric with a vague noise of disapproval. . . . [read on]
Trump’s field-tested strategy: Whip up a frenzy, then disavow

Perhaps this has crossed your mind -- it has mine: What happens if someone attacks or kills Ilhan Omar?
Senior Democrats are now calling for authorities to evaluate security for Omar (D-Minn.), as well as the three other lawmakers who Trump called out by name at his Wednesday night rally in North Carolina — warning that Trump has escalated the risk of threats or even acts of violence toward the four minority freshmen. . . . 

Wrong headline
About 90% Of Trump Voters Say He Isn’t A Racist

[NB: Right headline -- 10% Of Trump Voters Say He Is A Racist (but they're still voting for him)]

More on the R word
The controversy over whether the media should call Trump’s racist tweets “racist,” explained

How Tucker Carlson and Fox News have mainstreamed "unfettered white nationalism" 

Ken Cuccinelli joins the odious Stephen Miller as part of Trump's inner circle. And people wonder why his immigration rhetoric has taken an ugly turn

A "merit-based" immigration system is code language for fewer immigrants from dark-skinned "shithole countries" 

Trump officials pressing to slash refugee admissions to zero next year  

Will Benjamin Netanyahu do his orange buddy a big favor and block Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib (elected U.S. officials) from entering Israel? 

In investigation news. . . 

The judge unseals documents detailing Trump's hush-money payments, via Michael Cohen. Here's what we are learning
Trump Was Central To Hush Money Effort From Start
New court docs implicate Trump in the illegal hush-money scheme that landed Cohen in jail
Negotiations over the hush-money deal to silence Daniels appeared to begin in earnest just after The Washington Post in early October 2016 revealed the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump can be heard bragging about sexually assaulting women. [read on]
Hicks told investigators, according to a footnote in the application, that she was not aware of the affair allegations until November 2016. [read on]
Twitter reacts as it looks like [Hope Hicks] perjured herself re the Stormy Daniels cover up
Trump Hush Money Probe Had Obstruction Of Justice Angle

“The House Judiciary Committee is examining the truthfulness of former White House communications director and Trump confidante Hope Hicks’ statements in the aftermath of new documents released on Thursday, asking her to clarify her testimony to the committee last month”

The 5 biggest revelations

The Dems are forced to vote on impeachment before they're ready
House Votes To Table Trump Impeachment Resolution

What the impeachment vote in the House means (and what it doesn’t)

In other news . . . 

Good essay. It looks at the present moment through an historical lens. We are witnessing some truly unprecedented events in the Trump presidency. How we respond to them will be viewed in the future as a judgment on our national character
I often open my articles on Trumpism with explorations of American history. I’ve spent much of the past four years trying to illuminate the historical and ideological antecedents to Donald Trump, to show how America got to this point. So I want to be very clear about what the country saw last night, as an American president incited a chant of “Send her back!” aimed at a Somali-born member of Congress: America has not been here before.

White nationalism was a formal or informal governing doctrine of the United States until 1965, or for most of its existence as a country. Racist demagogues, from Andrew Johnson to Woodrow Wilson, have occupied the White House. Trump has predecessors, like Calvin Coolidge, who imposed racist immigration restrictions designed to preserve a white demographic majority. Prior presidents, like Richard Nixon, have exploited racial division for political gain. But we have never seen an American president make a U.S. representative, a refugee, an American citizen, a woman of color, and a religious minority an object of hate for the political masses, in a deliberate attempt to turn the country against his fellow Americans who share any of those traits. Trump is assailing the moral foundations of the multiracial democracy Americans have struggled to bring into existence since 1965, and unless Trumpism is defeated, that fragile project will fail . . .

Ilhan Omar’s prominence as a Republican target comes not, as conservatives might argue, simply because her policy views are left-wing. . . . She has emerged as an Emmanuel Goldstein for the Trumpist right because as a black woman, a Muslim, an immigrant, and a progressive member of Congress, she represents in vivid terms a threat to the nation Trumpists fear they are losing. To attack Omar is to attack a symbol of the demographic change that is eroding white cultural and political hegemony . . . [read on] 

There could be a budget deal -- if Trump doesn't ruin it

Watch out:
Some In White House Trying to Kill Spending Deal
Trump’s Senate allies beg him to accept budget compromise to prevent economic collapse

Another ultra-creepy Trump video that will make you want to take a shower after seeing it
Unearthed Video Shows Trump Bragging About Open-Mouth Kiss On TV Host
Have you noticed how Trump's "heir apparent" suddenly disappears whenever things get dicey?
Where Is Ivanka?
Photojournalists keep getting glimpses of Trump's handwritten notes 

The Cesspool
Trump Puts More GOP Money In His Own Pocket During Another Million-Dollar Golf Trip

Mooch gets scooched
FL GOP Disinvites Scaramucci From Fundraiser After He Called Out Trump

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci told CNN that he would no longer support President Trump if his attacks on four freshman congresswomen continued, dubbing his former boss’s remarks “racist and unacceptable.” 

Why is Rand Paul blocking a compensation fund for 9/11 victims? 

The NRA is melting down

Why is the number of child sex trafficking prosecutions going DOWN?

The "do-nothing" Democratic House keeps passing good legislation
The House just passed a $15 minimum wage. It would be the first increase in a decade.
I am not a huge Thomas Friedman fan, but I agree with this
“Dear Democrats: This is not complicated! Just nominate a decent, sane person, one committed to reunifying the country and creating more good jobs, a person who can gain the support of the independents, moderate Republicans and suburban women who abandoned Donald Trump in the midterms and thus swung the House of Representatives to the Democrats and could do the same for the presidency. And that candidate can win!”

“But please, spare me the revolution! It can wait. Win the presidency, hold the House and narrow the spread in the Senate, and a lot of good things still can be accomplished. ‘No,’ you say, ‘the left wants a revolution now!’ O.K., I’ll give the left a revolution now: four more years of Donald Trump. That will be a revolution.”

Dem debate 2.0: Bernie vs Warren, Biden vs Harris and Booker

“Unionized campaign organizers working for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential effort are battling with its management, arguing that the compensation and treatment they are receiving does not meet the standards Sanders espouses in his rhetoric”

Bonus item: Seth Meyers on the lengths Repubs go to in avoiding the word "racist"
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Thursday, July 18, 2019


Trump says he barely knew Epstein and didn't get along with him. Roll the tape. . .

NBC News releases cringeworthy footage of Trump and Epstein gawking, grabbing a woman at a party
Everything is a victory. After an historic House vote that condemned his racist comments, Trump brags that ONLY 4 members of his own party voted to call him a racist
"The Republican vote was 187-4. Wow!  . . . Quite a day!"

Here's how bad Trump's slur was: it is specifically cited in EEOC discrimination law as a chargeable offense
“Examples of potentially unlawful conduct include insults, taunting, or ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person’s foreign accent or comments like, “Go back to where you came from.”
Fox World has its priorities straight: Trump using racist language isn't the outrage -- calling it "racist" is

HERE'S what's wrong with your Republican party today
New polling indicates Republicans actually like Trump more following racist tweet controversy

House Republicans Adopt Trump’s Playbook
Republicans will never say that racism is "racism." Basically it's because they're racist
For Republicans, xenophobia and nationalism are completely fine—just don't call it racism

Trump has another rally
At an arena rally in Greenville, North Carolina, on Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump quadrupled down on his recent racist attacks on four female Democratic lawmakers. He also chastised one of them for using “the big, fat, vicious…F-word” against him, alleging, “that’s not somebody that loves our country.”  “She looks down with contempt on the hardworking American, saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country,” the president said of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), to cheering from the crowd, many of whom began chanting, “Send her back” . . . Trump, of course, did nothing to object to the chant, and soon thereafter reiterated his position on the four congresswomen and like-minded Americans: “If they don’t love [the country], tell them to leave it.” 

[NB: Yes, its an outrage when someone uses the F word, right? “That’s not somebody that loves our country.”]
After President Trump made racist attacks on left-wing Democrats, his supporters engaged in frantic historical revisionism. Trump was not calling his non-white targets foreign or denying their Americanness, they insisted. He merely noted that they may wish to emigrate given their deep ideological disagreement with the country’s institutions and political character. “His message is simple: The U.S.A. is the greatest nation on Earth, but if people aren’t happy here they don’t have to stay,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham calmly explained.  Wednesday night, Trump dispensed with that pretense. After a long and almost entirely dishonest attack on Ilhan Omar, his crowd began echoing Trump’s infamous words, chanting, “Send her back!” . . .
Not since George Wallace’s campaign in 1968 has a presidential candidate — and certainly not an incumbent president — put racial polarization at the center of his call to voters. Though Trump’s comments generated outrage and even a resolution of condemnation in the House, the president and his campaign believe the strategy carries far more benefits than risks. . . . Still, there are clear perils to his approach. . . . [read on]
“It was the latest sign that the president hopes to win a second term in office by playing to racial and nationalist themes that shock the consciences of many Americans, but seem only to delight his most ardent supporters. . . . Mr. Trump doubled down with relish on his previous calls for the four congresswomen — Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley — to ‘go back’ to their countries of origin, even though all but one were born in the United States and all four are citizens. It left no doubt that he was undaunted by furious condemnations of his remarks as racist, including a Tuesday vote by the House.”

[NB: "Undaunted"? This is where he lives, he LOVES this stuff, and so do his supporters. It was the core of his attacks on Obama -- not really an American. It has been behind his anti-immigrant fear-mongering, his attack on "Mexican" judges, his reference to "shithole" countries, every bit of it. There was a time when the GOP was worried that they were losing support from minorities and wondered seriously how to bring them back. Trump is happy to say, "Stay away!"]

Donald Trump going full racist and unifying House Democrats when their internal divisions were erupting is your latest evidence that there's no strategy here, only authentically reactionary impulses, blurted out whenever a microphone is nearby
“Send her back!” Trump’s attacks on Ilhan Omar — and the response to them — represent a new low

The many times Trump has been said to hit a "new low"
It's all pretty clear now, right?
A former Trump voter fraud commissioner will apologize to citizens he wrongly described as a noncitizens in reports claiming mass voter fraud in Virginia . . . J. Christian Adams and his group the Public Interest Legal Foundation were sued last year over the “Aliens Invasion” reports they released in 2016 and 2017. . . .

Trump's new asylum ban faces legal challenges
Under the Trump administration’s change, “asylum seekers who pass through another country first will be ineligible for asylum at the U.S. southern border. The rule … also applies to children who have crossed the border alone,” the AP reported. But unless asylum-seekers are somehow finding a way to fly or sail to the U.S., this is an attempt to block the right to asylum for anyone who isn’t Mexican and asks for protection at the southern border. . . . Leading organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Center for Constitutional Rights, have already filed a federal suit challenging Asylum Ban 2.0, saying that “this is the Trump administration’s most extreme run at an asylum ban yet. It clearly violates domestic and international law, and cannot stand.” [read on]

Trump asks his brilliant son-in-law Jared to develop a new immigration plan. You can guess the results
“When the president asked me to get involved in this last year, the president asked me to work with him to take the ideas that he had for a modern immigration system and figure out how to turn that into a very detailed proposal,” Kushner said at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting. “We’re not afraid to put out details because we think that this proposal is a very, very good proposal that really is great for America,” the president's son-in-law added.
“Senior Republicans in the Senate on Tuesday immediately began downplaying the prospects of the White House’s proposal — an effort led primarily by senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law — even before they had been briefed on its details.” 

He just says s--t
“Days before Prime Minister Imran Khan was due to visit Washington, Pakistan attempted to smooth things over with President Trump on Wednesday by announcing the arrest of a notorious militant leader who has been living openly for years despite a $10-million U.S. bounty . . . The arrest was not unexpected: Pakistan has detained and released Saeed several times before, most recently in 2017, when he served 10 months under house arrest… Yet President Trump immediately sought to claim credit for Saeed’s latest arrest, tweeting that it was the result of a ‘ten year search’ and that ‘great pressure has been exerted over the last two years to find him.' . . . That statement flew in the face of the facts . . . ”

Trump's isolationism is opening the door for China to become a global force


[NB: Have you heard about "Belt and Road"? I can tell you, you can't open a newspaper in China without reading about it. They have a plan, and they are implementing it.]

Trump said he would erase NAFTA and create a much better USMCA, and he would void the Iran nuclear treaty and create something much better to take its place. What has he actually accomplished?
NAFTA 2.0 Is Completely Useless
Trump’s better deal with Iran looks a lot like Obama’s 

In investigation news . . . 

Another investigation into Trump ends, and the evidence is about to be released
Federal prosecutors have closed their campaign finance investigation into Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen, a new court order reveals. According to a Wednesday ruling from Manhattan federal Judge William H. Pauley III, “the Government now represents that it has concluded the aspects of its investigation that justified the continued sealing of the portions of the Materials relating to Cohen’s campaign finance violations.” Pauley ordered that the government release documents from the investigation, including search warrant materials, with limited redactions. “The campaign finance violations discussed in the Materials are a matter of national importance,” the order reads. “Now that the Government’s investigation into those violations has concluded, it is time that every American has an opportunity to scrutinize the Materials.”

Will the House Dems' incremental approach to investigation work?

House votes Commerce Sect'y and Attorney General in contempt
The US House has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt for not complying with the House Oversight Committee’s subpoena request for information on why they added a US citizenship question to the 2020 census.  . . . The resolution that passed through Cummings’s committee last month and the floor today was “to proceed with both criminal and civil actions to enforce the Committee’s bipartisan subpoenas,” meaning the committee could pursue a criminal contempt case against Ross and Barr. . . 

The Trump gang is in trouble for lying to the courts about the citizenship census question

In other news . . . 

Trump's 2020 strategy looks a lot like his 2016 strategy
“President Trump’s campaign has boasted about efforts to expand the 2020 electoral map and compete in far-flung Democratic territory from Oregon to New Mexico while along the way winning over some of the voters who have been turned off by aspects of his presidency,” the Washington Post reports. “But the president has held all of his campaign rallies this year in states he won in 2016 — including Florida and Pennsylvania, with another set for North Carolina on Wednesday night. And he has shown no interest in toning down the incendiary rhetoric that has made him unpopular among black, Hispanic and female voters.” “Facing stubbornly low poll numbers, an energized Democratic opposition and the prospect of record-high voter turnout, the campaign is mounting an all-out defensive effort to protect the states Trump won in 2016, while also trying to expand the map.”
Trump's bruising racially-infused nationalism is forcing the GOP to trade support among younger voters for older ones; secular voters for the most religiously conservative, especially evangelical Christians; diverse voters for whites; white collar whites for blue-collar whites; and metro areas for non-metro areas. Since Trump's emergence Republicans have consolidated their control of small-town, exurban and rural communities. But that has come with significant losses for the GOP inside metropolitan areas even in red states, like Texas and Georgia . . . In 2016, Trump lost 16 of the 20 states where foreign-born residents constituted the largest share of the population and won 26 of the 30 states where they represent the smallest shares. Even in the relatively more diverse states he won, he lost the vast majority of the big urban centers where immigrants and other minorities generally concentrate. Overall, Trump lost 87 of the 100 largest US counties to Hillary Clinton by a combined margin of over 15 million votes, according to calculations by the Pew Research Center.  

How dumb is Eric Trump?
Eric Trump: ‘95 percent’ of Americans agree with my father
Eric Trump Ironically Calls Minority Congresswomen ‘Most Hate-Filled Group’

Trump's biggest tell when he's lying

By the way, I disagree. Trump's biggest lying tell is when he starts "Well, I hear people saying. . ." and then an assertion with no factual basis at all. But because he's just repeating what he's heard, you know, how can you blame HIM? Well, I blame him.

Here's the latest, a truly vile rumor about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar
“Well there’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother,” he said. “I know nothing about it, I hear that she was married to her brother, you’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know but I’m sure that somebody would be looking at that.”

Examples abound:
A lot of people are saying …
People think it’s going to happen.
Everybody’s talking about it.
They are saying …
Everyone is now saying …

That’s just what I had heard.
I’ve heard that …
What I’ve heard …
I’ve been hearing … 
A lot of people tell me … 

Yet another Fox World personality joins the Trump team

Medicare for All? It is quite clear from these data that people don't know what it is -- and when they do know, THEY DON'T WANT IT

This is great news -- but who reached out first?
Pelosi Reaches Out to Ocasio-Cortez
AOC Has Extended An Olive Branch To Pelosi, Meeting In The Works

Why the four new Congresswomen are called "The Squad"
Bonus item: Who says Republicans don't have a sense of humor?
“You know, they talk about people of color. I’m a person of color,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) told Vice News reporter Daniel Newhauser. “I’m white . . . ”

***If you enjoy Progressive Blog Digest and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL ( with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***