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The Propaganda Is Working: Trump Voters Call MS-13 a 'Serious' Threat to the US — But That's Simply Not True

July 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Hunter, Daily Kos

Trump voters now overwhelmingly believe the peddled notions about this group few of them ever heard of, before this year, and that is a testament to the power of the white nationalist propaganda machine whirring away within the White House walls.


Donald Trump's support is based on racism. And the racism is based on Republican conspiracy theories. And those conspiracy theories are now, thanks to White House propaganda, taking root within his racist, gullible base.

A majority of people who voted for President Donald Trump consider criminal gang MS-13 a threat to the United States, a new poll finds, indicating the Trump administration may be succeeding in inflating the perception of the gang’s national risk.

Specifically, 85 percent of Trump voters call MS-13 a “very” or “somewhat” serious threat to the United States, and roughly half of them are worried MS-13 is going to target them or their families personally, which is a ludicrous, asinine theory based entirely on Trump-peddled propaganda. Before Trump's team settled on “MS-13″ as their stand-in for Violent Ethnic People Coming To Get You, it would be a fair bet to say that precious few among Trump's base would even know what MS-13 was. Now half of them are worried that MS-13 is hiding under their floorboards.

To make it clear, yet again, while there is a violent gang called MS-13 and has been for a few decades now, the current incarnation is largely a collection of disconnected teenagers whose lofty ambitions primarily revolve around menacing their schoolmates, not entire U.S. towns. They are not increasing their membership, have no central structure or leadership, have no substantive role in drug or human trafficking, and primarily target young Latinos. Those are their primary victims, not lily white Trump supporters breathlessly flipping through Republican fundraising emails.

Everything else is a hoax. The vision of a paramilitary entity known as “MS-13″ capturing and losing American towns, the notion that this violent but scattered group is a meaningful presence on the border in any capacity, and all the rest of it is a hoax crafted by white nationalists in the White House and racist …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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How the Right Wing Convinces Itself That Liberals Are Evil

July 21, 2018 in Blogs

By David A. Walsh, Washington Monthly

Since the 1950s, the conservative movement has justified bad behavior—including supporting Donald Trump—by persuading itself that the left is worse.


If you spend any time consuming right-wing media in America, you quickly learn the following: Liberals are responsible for racism, slavery, and the Ku Klux Klan. They admire Mussolini and Hitler, and modern liberalism is little different from fascism or, even worse, communism. The mainstream media and academia cannot be trusted because of the pervasive, totalitarian nature of liberal culture. 

This belief in a broad liberal conspiracy is standard in the highest echelons of the conservative establishment and right-wing media. The Russia investigation is dismissed, from the president on down, as a politicized witch hunt. George Soros supposedly paid $300 to each participant in the “March for Our Lives” in March. (Disclosure: I marched that day, and I’m still awaiting my check.) What is less well appreciated by liberals is that the language of conspiracy is often used to justify similar behavior on the right. The Russia investigation is not just a witch hunt, it’s the product of the real scandal, which is Hillary-Russia-Obama-FBI collusion, so we must investigate that. Soros funds paid campus protestors, so Turning Point USA needs millions of dollars from Republican donors to win university elections. The liberal academic establishment prevents conservative voices from getting plum faculty jobs, so the Koch Foundation needs to give millions of dollars to universities with strings very much attached.

This did not begin with Donald Trump. The modern Republican Party may be particularly apt to push conspiracy theories to rationalize its complicity with a staggeringly corrupt administration, but this is an extension of, not a break from, a much longer history. Since its very beginning, in the 1950s, members of the modern conservative movement have justified bad behavior by convincing themselves that the other side is worse. One of the binding agents holding the conservative coalition together over the course of the past half century has been an opposition to liberalism, socialism, and global communism built on the suspicion, sometimes made explicit, that there’s no real difference among them. 

In 1961, …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Wall Street Journal Hammers 'Out of Touch' Trump Economic Adviser Peter Navarro for Trashing the US Economy

July 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Tom Boggioni, Raw Story

Under an ominous headline that reads “The Trade Casualties Mount,” the editorial board laid out the case on the toll the Trump tariffs are taking on U.S. economic growth.


The editors of the very conservative and very business-oriented Wall Street Journal have taken President Donald Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro to the woodshed for pushing the president's tariffs that is having a devastating effect on U.S. manufacturers.

Under an ominous headline that reads “The Trade Casualties Mount,” the editorial board laid out the case on the toll the Trump tariffs are taking on U.S. economic growth.

“President Trump is escalating his trade rhetoric, threatening China and Europe with more tariffs on more goods if they don’t agree to his terms. Mr. Trump says winning these trade wars is 'easy,' so let's take a look at the early returns on his steel and aluminum tariffs and the retaliation they’ve inspired,” the editorial began.

“Consider Alcoa , the top U.S. aluminum manufacturer whose shares plunged 13% Thursday and another 3% Friday after the company reported that tariffs are crimping earnings,” the piece explained. “The tariffs could wipe out $100 million of income this year, equal to about 18% of profits last year. 'Tariffs will not solve the challenges facing the aluminum industry,' Alcoa CEO Roy Harvey said on an earnings call.”

Noting, “…many businesses are delaying investments in the U.S. because of the uncertainty caused by the tariffs,” with one pipeline manufacturer announce this past week that they have “frozen [their] plans to invest $75 million in expanding production” in a Texas town, the Journal then called attention to Navarro's dismissive wave at U.S. economic chaos.

“Meanwhile, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNBC on Thursday that the damage from the trade war so far is no big deal,” the WSJ reported, quoting him as saying, “We got two economies that add up to around $30 trillion in annual GDP. The amount of trade we’re affecting with the tariffs is a rounding error compared to that.”

“All of this and more are examples of the real and growing damage that Mr. Trump’s arbitrary and …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump's New Attack on Lawyer Michael Cohen Was a 'Terrible Idea' That Will Blow Up in President's Face: Trial Attorney

July 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Bob Brigham, Raw Story

While spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf course, President Trump accused his former attorney, Michael Cohen, of “perhaps illegal” behavior by recording a conversation with Trump during which the two reportedly discussed a hush money payment.


Preeminent attorney Shanin Specter suggested that President Donald Trump’s Saturday morning Twitter attack on his former fixer, Michael Cohen, could blow up in his face.

While spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf course, 

 
 

Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. These agreements are…..

 
 

“Is there not now a public war between the two?” asked CNN host Michael Smerconish.

“Yes, Mike, there appears to be,” Specter answered. “This is a very surprising tweet from the president this morning where he suggests his …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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After Warning of 'Large and Painful Military Operation,' Israel Begins Massive Bombing of Gaza

July 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

“Israeli snipers shoot and kill scores of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, including kids, then calls it self-defense. When a Palestinian sniper fires at one Israeli soldier, Israel bombs Gaza with F-16s and preps for all out war.”


Just hours after Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that Israel is gearing up to launch a “large and painful military operation” in Gaza that would rival Operation Protective Edge—a 2014 assault that killed more than 2,000 Palestinians—the Israeli military carried out “wide-scale” airstrikes across Gaza on Friday following weekly anti-occupation protests along the border fence.

 

The airstrikes began to slam Gaza just hours after Israeli soldiers gunned down at least three Palestinians during anti-occupation demonstrations. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says one of its soldiers was killed by retaliatory gunfire from the Palestinians.

 

“Palestinian defense forces fired back at Israeli snipers who have been murdering Palestinian men, women, and children for weeks,” noted journalist Ali Abunimah.

Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, added: “Israeli snipers shoot and kill scores of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, including kids, then calls it self-defense. When a Palestinian sniper fires at one Israeli soldier, Israel bombs Gaza with F-16s and preps for all out war.”

In response to Israel's “massive” wave of airstrikes, activists began circulating the #StoptheWar hashtag in an effort to pressure the international community to step in and stop Israel's efforts to launch yet another catastrophic assault on the “occupied, blockaded, unlivable, and exhausted Gaza Strip.”

 

Munayyer of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights argued in a tweet on Friday that the airstrikes are a deliberate escalation that is merely a precursor to a broader military attack on Gaza.

“Israel has been planning another war on Gaza for some time. They recently conducted exercises, declared Friday as an ultimatum day, and the Americans to wrote a WaPo oped to open the Israeli propaganda campaign,” Munayyer noted, referring to an opinion piece co-authored by White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, which blames Hamas for Israel's brutal decades-long occupation of Palestinian territory.

“Seems Israel …read more

Source: ALTERNET