edblogs

It’s worth taking a look at this to see just the level of clowns Donald Trump has surrounding him. Ben Carson, now running Trump’s Veep search, suggests that Ted Cruz might take a quick appointment as AG to jail Hillary Clinton before being appointed to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

   

It’s good to know folks in Trump land are clear that the Department of Justice isn’t supposed to be the President’s personal army.

— 

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/wow–43

Um.

During a Wednesday interview on Fox News Radio, Ben Carson, who will likely help Donald Trump choose a running mate, proposed making Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Trump’s attorney general and then nominating him to sit on the Supreme Court.

“I think he would be terrific on the Supreme Court, or I think he would be a terrific attorney general. Or he could be both,” Carson said when asked if Cruz would make for a good Supreme Court pick. “He could be attorney general first, you know, go ahead and prosecute Hillary, and then go on the Supreme Court.”

I mean. It’s just. Wow.

BREAKING: @AntonioFrench has been arrested in #Ferguson. #FergusonProtests #FergusonRiots

For context, @AntonioFrench is an alderman (a councilman) for the city of St. Louis. Black gov’t officials are being arrested. For being outside.

talkingpointsmemo.com
"It's Alive. It's Alive ..."
Read the editorial and news pages today and you'll find a mix of hand-wringing and demands about an uncouth and outrageous outsider who is threatening to wrest the Republican party from its rightful owners. Liar, racist, clown, fascist, vigilante. There is no shortage of labels for Trump being bandied about in late November. But they're all negative - at least in the mainstream press. He seemed to be losing steam in the face of a surging Ben Carson. But then the country's politics, especially on the right, pivoted hard toward fear and rage against Muslims in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks. And with that and a series of Carson stumbles, Trump stormed back into hefty leads basically everywhere. Is Trump really too anti-immigrant for the 21st century GOP? Or too hostile to Muslims in the US and abroad? Or has he broken with the party in pushing caricatures of black criminals either threatening the safety of ordinary Americans or mobilizing through voter fraud to take away the stuff earned by middle class white people? It's not too much to say that there's nothing Trump has said in recent weeks that you couldn't hear any given Monday on the Rush Limbaugh Show, from various backbench House conservatives or a million other places in conservative media. If you pay attention to any of these three fronts, you know this. These are the same themes, enemies, and swear lines that have run right at the water line of conservative politics for years. What Trump has done - I suspect more intuitively than with a conscious strategy or plan - is to package them all together and strip away the window dressing which has allowed this menu of resentment to both stoke base conservative anger and appeal to more respectable conservative elites without creating channel conflict between the two. This is no more than the monster which Republican elites created and used to marvelous effect. Only now it appears to be in the process of slipping its leash and devouring its creators rather than uneasily or crankily serving it.

Trump isn’t going to be president, gang. So instead of worrying about what he’d do to America and how he’d hurt the rest of the world (I don’t doubt that he’d be a disaster if he was elected, but he won’t be), just consider that he says out loud and without coded language the exact same thing that the GOP has been saying as a party for decades.

The politics of resentment and fear that Trump is riding high on right now is the politics of the Republican party. The GOP created him, created the conditions for him and other like him to thrive, but they can’t control him. And they’re freaking out. And it’s glorious.

Trump is almost forcing the mainstream media and the political establishment in general to confront and acknowledge the reality of what the Republican party has become, and lots of people, regardless of their politics, find that repugnant. The best outcome that I think we can hope for (presuming you want America to move back to the Left like I do) is that this begins the unraveling and ultimate collapse of the ultra-right wing control of the Republican party.

talkingpointsmemo.com
A Huge, Huge Deal
Here and there we've reported on the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker. As you probably know, Hogan won the case and won a massive judgment of $115 million dollars and an additional $25 million in punitive damages. While it is widely believed that the verdict is likely to be reversed on appeal or at least the judgment dramatically reduced, Gawker had to immediately place $50 million into escrow. The anticipated need to produce that sum forced Gawker to sell an undisclosed amount of the company to a Russian oligarch named Viktor Vekselberg. Simple fact: It's hard to feel too much sympathy when a publication gets sued for publishing excerpts of someone's sex tape. But some new information emerged this morning that, in my mind, significantly changes the picture.

Now sure enough, this evening Forbes reported that the bankroller of the Hogan suit is none other than Peter Thiel, a prominent Silicon Valley billionaire who styles himself a libertarian but somewhat incongruously is a big time supporter of Donald Trump in addition to numerous other right wing causes, most of which have a distinctly Randian cast.

Regardless of his politics, this news should disturb everyone. People talk a lot about the dominance of the 1% or in this case more like a tiny fraction of the 1%. But being able to give massive political contributions actually pales in comparison to the impact of being able to destroy a publication you don’t like by combining the machinery of the courts with anonymity and unlimited funds to bleed a publication dry.

We don’t have to go any further than Donald Trump to know that the incredibly rich often use frivolous litigation to intimidate critics and bludgeon enemies. Mother Jones had a lawsuit like this, clearly intended to bleed them dry through endless legal expenses. They won, though at a steep cost. But when bully plutocrats do so in their own name there is at least a self-correcting dynamic at work. A plaintiff in a libel suit opens him or herself up to reputational harm and highly intrusive legal discovery which is often enough to scare people away. (Remember, when Trump sued Tim O'Brien for publishing Trump insiders’ claims that Trump was worth less than $250 million dollars, Trump was eventually forced to show O'Brien’s lawyers his tax returns.) In some ways, this lines up with something I noted in my ‘Brittle Grip’ series of posts: growing calls from the extremely rich to not only be able to use their money without limit to shape the political process but to do so anonymously to avoid being “intimidated” or “vilified”.

It all comes down to a simple point. You may not like Gawker. They’ve published stories I would have been ashamed to publish. But if the extremely wealthy, under a veil secrecy, can destroy publications they want to silence, that’s a far bigger threat to freedom of the press than most of the things we commonly worry about on that front. If this is the new weapon in the arsenal of the super rich, few publications will have the resources or the death wish to scrutinize them closely.

talkingpointsmemo.com
Palin Son Arrested on Domestic Violence, Weapons Charges
The night before Sarah Palin's historic endorsement of celebrity businessman Donald Trump, her son Track Palin, 26, was arrested for domestic assault after allegedly punching and kicking his girlfriend and then threatening to shoot himself in the head with his AR-15 assault rifle. At one point, according court document, Track was “holding onto a gun, yelling ‘do you think I’m a p---y?’ and ‘do you think I won’t do it?’”

The night before Sarah Palin’s historic endorsement of celebrity businessman Donald Trump, her son Track Palin, 26, was arrested for domestic assault after allegedly punching and kicking his girlfriend and then threatening to shoot himself in the head with his AR-15 assault rifle. At one point, according to the court document, Track was “holding onto a gun, yelling ‘do you think I’m a p—y?’ and ‘do you think I won’t do it?’”

UPDATE: More info on Track’s arrest from The Slatest

Sarah Palin’s 26-year-old son, Track Palin, was arrested in Wasilla, Alaska on Monday night on domestic violence and weapons charges after he allegedly punched and kicked his girlfriend during an argument. The son of the former vice presidential candidate for a mainstream American political party is facing three misdemeanor charges—assault, interfering with the reporting of domestic violence, and possessing a gun while intoxicated.

According to an affidavit filed in the case by Wasilla police officer Andrew Kappler, a woman called 911 just after 10 p.m. Monday to report a man had just “punched her in the face and that a firearm was involved…” Less than 10 minutes later, police arrived at a home along Lake Lucille on the West Parks Highway, where they found Track Palin walking around outside, the affidavit says… Palin claimed to not know where the woman was and denied the involvement of a gun, although he did tell detectives there were firearms in the house. “Due to Palin’s escalating hostility, the unknown whereabouts of the 911 caller, and officer safety, Palin was placed into handcuffs,” Kappler wrote.

The woman was later found hiding and crying under a bed inside. Palin told police he and the woman had been arguing over her communication with an ex-boyfriend… The woman also said the two had been arguing for the better part of the night, and in the driveway of the Palin family home. “Palin approached (her) and struck her on the left side of her face with a closed fist.” The woman then told police she fell to the ground in the fetal position and Palin kicked her in her knee before picking up her phone and throwing it. According to the affidavit, the woman grabbed her phone and went inside, where she said she found Palin holding a gun with the barrel pointed near his face and saying “do you think I won’t do it?” “(The woman) was concerned that he would shoot himself and ran outside and around the house,” Kappler wrote. She eventually hid under the bed, where she was discovered by police.

talkingpointsmemo.com
The Engineered Ignorance of Fox News
You probably saw this story yesterday about a failed GOP congressional candidate from Tennessee who was arrested and charged with conspiring to lead a militia attack - using the assistance of an existing 'militia' which goes by the initials OAF - on a Muslim community in Hancock, New York. "We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace,” he wrote in a Facebook post. And in a call intercepted by federal investigators, he told one woman “When we meet with this state, the people that we will seek will know who we are. We will be cruel to them. And we will burn down their buildings."