- Esther Yu-Hsi Lee @ Think Progress: This Taco Bowl Is What Donald Trump Is Offering As Hispanic Outreach.
- David Gushee @ Religion News Service: Trump victory marks major defeat for Christian Right agenda.
- Laura Epstein @ The Huffington Post: On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Never Forget Necessitates Never Trump.
- Dominic Holden @ BuzzFeed: Alabama City Council Recalls Anti-Transgender Bathroom Law.
- Erin Fitzgerald @ Media Matters: A Comprehensive Guide To The Debunked “Bathroom Predator” Myth.
- Joe Keohane @ Politico: The Cry-Bully: The sad mind and evil media genius behind @realDonaldTrump.
- Maurice Chammah @ The Atlantic: American Sheriff: David Clarke, the Trump-loving, pro-mass-incarceration, Fox News favorite, is challenging criminal-justice reform—and stereotypes.
- Richard Viguerie, who once called Donald Trump "a serious narcissist" with "serious psychological problems," now says that the billionaire mogul can unify the GOP and win the presidency if he names Newt Gingrich as his running mate.
- Joseph Farah says that he is positively terrified of Trump but will still support him nonetheless.
- Kris Kobach feels "somewhat vindicated" by Trump's primary victory.
- Scott Lively says that the Supreme Court's 1996 Romer v. Evans decision striking down Colorado's anti-gay Amendment 2 was "the beginning of the end of the pro-family vision of returning America to family values."
- C-FAM's Wendy Wright says that President Obama's foreign policy legacy is nothing but "chaos and LGBT."
- Finally, FRC prays for the success of the right-wing boycott against Target: "May God continue to open the eyes of the leaders of culture who have been coopted by the sexual revolution so as to abandon all common sense. May He bless communities, cities and states that stand firm, refusing to bow to political correctness for the sake of our children, grandchildren, and the future of our nation."
In March, Politico described Jesse Benton’s hiring as chief strategist of Great America PAC, a pro-Trump super PAC, as “the latest indication that the super PAC … is developing into a serious organization — one looking to buttress Trump in the final stretch of the Republican primary and, potentially, the general election.”
Today a jury found Benton and two others guilty of a host of corruption and campaign finance violations related to their work on Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign, when they secretly funneled $73,000 to an Iowa state senator in exchange for switching his support from Michele Bachmann to Paul in the lead-up to the state’s caucus.
Specifically, the Des Moines Register reports:
Jurors found Benton:
• Guilty of conspiracy
• Guilty of causing false records
• Guilty of causing false campaign expenditure reporting
• Guilty of a false statements scheme
Quite an auspicious start to the general election for Donald Trump’s super PAC.
Donald Trump Is Just Asking The Question: How The GOP Presidential Candidate Spreads His Conspiracy Theories
A favorite tool of Republican politicians and far-right pundits like Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Michael Savage, Bryan Fischer and others is to float wild conspiracy theories with the qualifier that they are “just asking the question.”
Take the outlet WorldNetDaily, which regularly runs stories with headlines like, “Is This A ‘Demon’ Racing In Front Of Obama?,” “Will Obama Build A Death Star Next?” and “‘Manchurian President’ Ushering In Islamic Caliphate?”
At Fox News, anchors often push personal theories by prefacing their remarks with the line, “some people say,” in order not to take any responsibility for their outlandish claims. Fox host Andrea Tantaros, for example, said of Obama last month, “Some people are asking the question, is he covering for ISIS?”
Donald Trump has taken to using the same lines in order to defend his own conspiracy theories.
When asked by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl in 2013 if he believed Obama “was born in the United States,” Trump replied: “I have no idea. Was there a birth certificate? You tell me. You know, some people say that was not his birth certificate. I'm saying I don't know. Nobody knows and you don't know either, Jonathan.”
He once issued a tweet hinting that Obama murdered someone to cover up the truth about his birth certificate:
How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2013
Trump made a similar move when Michael Savage asked him if he thinks Justice Antonin Scalia was “murdered.”
“I just heard today, just a little while ago actually, I just landed and I’m hearing it’s a big topic, the question, and it’s a horrible topic, but they say they found a pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow, I can’t tell you — I can’t give you an answer,” Trump said.
Trump also deflected criticism he received after he tweeted that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who was born in the U.S., is ineligible to be president, by insisting that he was merely trying to “start dialogue” and “let people make their own determination.”
After Trump tweeted a racist image of fabricated crime statistics from a neo-Nazi site, he said it came from “an expert” and asked, “Am I gonna check every statistic?” When Trump was called out for falsely claiming that a man who rushed the stage at one of his rallies was working for ISIS, he cited a fake online video and explained, “All I know is what’s on the internet.”
Trump wants to say things without saying things, but anyone watching knows exactly what he is trying to say.
Just take what happened this week when he suggested on “Fox & Friends” that Rafael Cruz, the father of his then-rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
You know, his father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald [sic] being, you know, shot, I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous, what is this? Right prior to his being shot and nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported and nobody talks about it…. What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.
The reason nobody was talking about it was because it was a bogus theory generated by online rumor sites and the tabloid National Enquirer.
But rather than say that Cruz was involved in the Kennedy assassination, Trump only asked, “What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death?”
Trump was just asking the question later that day while talking to Sean Hannity:
It was a picture put in and [the Enquirer] wouldn’t put it in if they could be sued, that I can tell you, they are very big professionals. It was put in. And by the way, Ted Cruz, I don’t think denied it at the news conference, but they don’t do things unless it could be verified. But if that were true, what was he doing having breakfast or whatever they were doing three months before the JFK assassination? Why are they doing that? Why is the father meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald?
Both Cruzes, for the record, did deny it, but that didn’t stop Trump from repeating the line the next day on “Good Morning America,” where he again refused to take any responsibility for his conspiracy theory. He also added a new and equally fallacious twist, claiming that newspapers other than the Enquirer had picked up the story:
All I was referring to was a picture that was reported in a magazine, and I think they didn’t deny it. I don’t think anybody denied it. I don’t know what it was exactly but it was a major story in a major publication, and it was picked up by many other publications…. The National Enquirer gave you John Edwards, it gave you O.J. Simpson, it gave you many, many things. You can’t knock the National Enquirer, it brought many things to light, not all of them pleasant. The fact is that it was a cover story on the National Enquirer. It was picked up by many other people and magazines and periodicals and newspapers and all I did was refer to it…. I’m just referring to an article that appeared, it has nothing to do with me.
Finally, Trump told Wolf Blitzer that he never even believed the theory that he had parroted.
Blitzer: You don’t really believe that Ted Cruz’s—
Trump: I didn’t say.
Blitzer: —father had anything to do with the assassination of President Kennedy.
Trump: No, I don’t. Of course I don’t.
Trump went on to falsely claim that Rafael Cruz was “praying for bad things to happen to me,” saying that in response he wanted people to “read the various magazines, because it’s not only there, it was put in numerous — where he has a picture of himself with Lee Harvey Oswald. I’m not saying they conspired…. I’m just saying it was all over the place…. Of course I don’t believe that, I didn’t believe it, but I did say let people to read it.”
“It’s like a walking, talking Enquirer magazine,” RedState founder Erick Erickson said of Trump back in March.
As Maggie Haberman of the New York Times wrote, “It is not a total surprise that Mr. Trump is the candidate most likely to use the phrase ‘I hear’ before stating something as fact, no matter how flimsy the information he passes along.”
The GOP is now on the verge of nominating for president someone who cites completely bogus stories he finds on the internet and embraces the likes of Alex Jones, one of the most bizarre conspiracy theorists out there.
But conservative talk radio and outlets like Fox News have shown the effectiveness of spreading unsubstantiated rumors and fictitious stories by insisting that they are just asking the question.
Glenn Beck called on conservatives to leave the Republican Party today, declaring on his radio program that Ted Cruz's exit from the presidential primary means that the Tea Party movement has officially lost the war for the GOP. Donald Trump's candidacy, he warned, will make the party so toxic that no Republican will be elected to the White House ever again.
Beck said that he is hearing from Tea Party members of Congress that life is now "literally living hell" as establishment Republicans prepare to pay them back for all the headaches they have caused the party in recent years.
"They're going to kill the Tea Party people," Beck said, declaring that the Tea Party had its chance to defeat the Republican establishment by electing Cruz, but instead just "lost the war."
"If you think now that somebody is going to ride in on a white horse and we're going to save the Constitution, that is over," he stated. "You shot the guy on the top of the horse."
As such, Beck declared that "conservatives need to run from the Republican Party as fast as you can" because with Trump as the face of the GOP, "you will never see a Republican win again."
"It is time to step away from the GOP," Beck proclaimed. "If you don't, you will be painted as one of them. I'm not one of them. I'm not part of Donald Trump. Not part of it and I want to cry that out from top of the mountains. I am not part of that because you will never be considered as having any kind of viable solution if you stand next to him. Never. Because Tinfoil Hat Don is crazy."
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer yesterday, Donald Trump refused to condemn the anti-Semitic abuse that his supporters hurled at journalist Julia Ioffe after she wrote a profile of his wife, Melania, in GQ.
Ioffe, who is Jewish, received calls from “people playing Hitler speeches” and was told that she “should be burned in an oven, told she should be shot in the head, received a call inquiring about overnight casket delivery, and sent Photoshopped images of her in a concentration camp uniform.”
Trump said that he didn’t read Ioffe’s article, but nevertheless attacked it as “nasty” and claimed that it portrayed his wife as a “party person” — when, in fact, it described her as a “homebody.”
He went on to say that journalists “shouldn’t be doing that with wives,” which is an absurd statement coming from the candidate who threatened to “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz and attacked her appearance.
When Blitzer asked him if he would condemn the “anti-Semitic death threats” from his fans, Trump said he wouldn’t condemn them. “I don’t have a message to the fans,” he said, before once again criticizing Ioffe about an article that he never read.
Coincidentally, on the same day that Trump said he wouldn’t condemn his fans for hurling anti-Semitic threats at a journalist, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke hailed Trump as a “white knight” for his white nationalist cause, saying that it is now up to his fellow white nationalists to “give Trump the space” to eventually begin attacking the “Jewish supremacists” who Duke believes control American society.
Today, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement saying that Trump “can and should speak up now” against Duke. “If not, his silence will speak volumes.”
His silence on the Ioffe incident, however, already has.
In response to remarks by white supremacist David Duke that opposition to Donald Trump shows that “Jewish supremacists” are “the real problem” -- as well as a barrage of anti-Semitic comments by a minority of Trump supporters on social media, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on Mr. Trump to make unequivocally clear anti-Semitism has no place in presidential politics or American society.
“David Duke’s latest remarks – smearing Jews and Jewish Republicans specifically – are as unsurprising as they are hateful. The onus is now on Donald Trump to make unequivocally clear he rejects those sentiments and that there is no room for Duke and anti-Semitism in his campaign and in society,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Mr. Trump can and should speak up now. If not, his silence will speak volumes.”
A former KKK Grand Wizard and one of the nation’s most recognizable white supremacists, Duke previously expressed support for the Trump campaign, saying to his white listeners that a vote against Trump was “treason to your heritage.”
Yesterday on his radio program Duke went a step further, blaming Republican Jews for attempting to block him from becoming the nominee, and expostulated: “I think these Jewish extremists have made a terribly crazy miscalculation, because all they’re going to be doing by doing a ‘Never Trump’ movement is exposing their alien, their anti-American, anti-American majority position. … They’re going to push people more into an awareness that the neocons are the problem, that these Jewish supremacists who control our country are the real problem, and the reason why America is not great.”
The televangelist was responding to the news that Alliance Defending Freedom and the Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Education in a case involving whether a female transgender student in Illinois can access girls’ facilities. Robertson said that while he has no problem with transgender people undergoing hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery — “no sin, nothing” — he doesn’t think the federal government should get involved with the issue of trans discrimination and “make it a big cause célèbre.”
“It’s the constant driving of the agenda of anti-Christian bias,” Robertson said. “We’re going to destroy any semblance of the Christian morality that exists in our country and our government is going to be at the forefront of it, that’s what you’re looking at. It’s one more attempt by the so-called progressives to destroy the Judeo-Christian fabric of America.”
He went on to warn that nondiscrimination measures would “turn loose” a “voyeur who likes to look at little girls with no clothes on.”
“The devil is obviously fighting at one particular place,” Robertson continued. “It’s not that there are a lot of people being discriminated against, they aren’t.”
Americans are “mad” and “furious,” he added, because “they don’t want this so-called progressive agenda being jammed down their throats.”
Yesterday, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and his fellow white nationalist Kevin MacDonald chatted on Duke’s radio program about how Donald Trump is taking on, in Duke’s words, the “Jewish supremacists who control our country.”
MacDonald was particularly thrilled that he meets more and more young people at events hosted by groups like the National Policy Institute who “totally get” the “Jewish issues” and “the importance of sustaining white America.”
Duke, for his part, just loved a parody of the movie “300” that white nationalists are circulating, which features Trump killing Jewish and Democratic figures.
Duke said it was high time “to start naming the enemy that’s orchestrating our destruction: If we don’t dispose the Jews, there is no hope for our people.”
“This is not Trump’s job,” Duke said. “It’s our job to give Trump the space to do it eventually.”
He explained that Jews “control” the media, academia and the political world, “and I think that we’ve really got to start going full bore on that. I’m not saying that Trump has to but we’ve got to and that’s the only way we’re going to move people like Trump more toward doing the things we’ve got to do.”
“Here’s a question for you,” Duke asked. “How do we go from this idea, ‘We’re going to build the wall,’ to understanding that Europeans are being wiped out in their land and to start taking a more open position to defend our people and changing the way the media operates and doing trust-busting or whatever to destroy this media establishment that is brainwashing our people every day?”
Fortunately for Duke, Trump has already threatened to “open up the libel laws” against members of the media and suggested that Jewish people use money to buy politicians.
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