By Doug Porter
The Washington Post joined the ever-growing list of media barred from receiving credentials by the Donald Trump presidential campaign on Monday. The Post joins the Des Moines Register, Politico, the Huffington Post, the National Review, Univision, and a host of other outlets in Trumpian political purgatory.
‘Displeasing The Fearless Leader will get you banished’ is the message. He’s already promised to “open up” the law, no doubt to construe libel in terms of what the rich and powerful may lose by others writing anything about them. Enjoy your First Amendment while you can, folks.
Today, by the way, is Donald Trump’s birthday. And today’s headline is what you can come to expect if he does become President.
This latest round of mostly symbolic excommunication followed yet another day of Donald’s doublespeak and lies, leading pundits to predict they (incorrectly) will lead to the collapse of his campaign.
CNN, whose business model seemingly relies upon the goodwill of the candidate, went with the headline: Donald Trump Stretches Facts in Fiery Post-Orlando Speech.
NBC News and the now-banned Washington Post fact checked the speech, finding it well populated with exaggeration, misstatements, and flat-out falsehoods. Not that it matters. The takeaway for those who choose the factually-challenged lifestyle is getting rid of certain kinds of people (wink,wink) will make everybody safer.
Here’s Isaac Chotiner at Slate, not mincing words in his description:
The fact that it was more of the same—demagoguery, fearmongering, outright lies—shouldn’t blind us to its disgusting content. Seemingly of the belief that simply saying “radical Islam” will win the war on terror (in this, at least, he doesn’t depart from the party he now leads), Trump mouthed the phrase many times Monday afternoon. But he also mouthed many other phrases, each one more disturbing than the next. He accused the president of consciously keeping law enforcement from doing its job; he scolded Hillary Clinton for saying Muslims were peaceful; he claimed he was right to call for a Muslim ban; he talked of huddling with the NRA to help prevent attacks. He talked of “these people”; he implied that almost all Afghans were extremists; he lied about the place of birth of the alleged shooter, who was American-born. “Can you imagine what they will do in large groups?” Trump asked, saying Obama had tried to bring “large groups” of Muslims from abroad. He claimed that immigrants would constitute a Trojan horse, implying that Muslims coming here were part of some secret plan.
He’s been saying this nonsense since Sunday morning. On Fox News, he hinted that Obama is either a sympathizer of Islamic terrorism, or some kind of sleeper cell. (Trump’s adviser, Roger Stone, wondered whether Clinton aide Huma Abedin was a “terrorist plant.”) He’s been smearing refugees as dangerous terrorists, because in his mind, our country is overwhelmed with Syrians (we haven’t been taking very many in), our children are at risk of indoctrination by Muslims, and anyone who calls for any sort of understanding is a politically correct fool. Decency is weakness; authoritarianism is safety.
The lowest moment of the lowest speech in this very low campaign came near the end, when Trump, noting that Muslims must talk to authorities about their neighbors, said, “The Muslim community, so importantly, they have to work with us. They have to cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad. And they know it. And they have to do it forthwith.” It was all there: the “us” that doesn’t include Muslim-Americans, the not-so-vague menace behind the warning, the claim about what “they” know.
The more ‘civilized’ right wing pundits are looking past Trump’s Islamophobia and hoping to make their fantasies about an impending ban on gun ownership into a fundraising opportunity.
From the Huffington Post:
In a USA Today op-ed published online Monday evening, NRA lobbying director Chris W. Cox blasted appeals by President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to limit access to assault-style weapons.
“They are desperate to create the illusion that they’re doing something to protect us because their policies can’t and won’t keep us safe,” wrote Cox. “This transparent head-fake should scare every American, because it will do nothing to prevent the next attack.”
Meanwhile, in a reality far, far, away from the presidential campaign trail, people from all walks of life held vigils for the victims of the Orlando shooting at locations all over the country.
In New York, thousands filled the streets near the Stonewall Inn, where large-scale gay rights activism got its start in 1969. Under banners for the upcoming Pride Week, people waved rainbow flags. Spectators watched from fire escapes and windows of nearby apartment buildings as chants of “love beats hate” rang from the crowd. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, among others, addressed the crowd.
Orlando’s main performing arts venue, the Dr. Phillips Center, was the site for a makeshift memorial where people have been leaving flowers, candles, and notes for the victims. Thousands of people gathered during the evening.
Lady Gaga broke down while addressing a crowd of thousands at Los Angeles City Hall during a reading of the victims’ names. She called the attack horrible and painful and an attack on humanity itself.
Vigils were also held in Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Ohio, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Idaho, Louisiana, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, and Alaska.
The gathering in San Diego at The Center included City Councilman Todd Gloria, Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, county Supervisor Dave Roberts, school board member Kevin Beiser, council members Lorie Zapf and Myrtle Cole and councilmember-elect Chris Ward.
From the Times of San Diego:
…the loudest and longest cheers may have gone to longtime LGBT activist Nicole Murray Ramirez when he addressed Donald Trump “with all due respect. … It’s time for you to shut the f— up!”
The veteran San Diego Human Relations Commission member ended with a benediction of sorts: “So I say to you all: Take the spirit of love, community — of one San Diego — in this room tonight, take it home with you. Let it nourish and sustain you. … I say to you all: God bless America.”
Then tears were shed as the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus concluded with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Following the program at The Center, attendees marched toward Rich’s, a nearby nightclub.
On to some other news…
East County Homeless Get Little Help
East County Magazine reports that the County Grand Jury has issued a report critical of four cities for failing to provide adequately for the needs of homeless people. Apparently it’s just too much trouble for these cities to even apply for available government funding.
We looked at El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, and Santee,” Grand Jury Foreman Melinda Richards told East County Magazine.”Most of them were doing almost nothing. El Cajon did contribute about $100,000 to the East County Transitional Living Center,” she noted, “but by and large, not much else…there are some things for domestic violence and for families, but for a single homeless person, there is very little.”
Richard said the Grand Jury also looked at funding available. “It seemed to us that cities in East County weren’t getting any because they weren’t proactive in seeking the funds,” she said, adding that about $15 million came into the San Diego area for homeless issues from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
San Diego County guidelines state that services should be located proportional to need. The 2015/16 San Diego County Grand Jury recommends that East County cities initiate common programs to address homelessness by joining the Regional Continuum of Care Council and devoting attention and resources to this under-served group.
Voters Who Didn’t Vote Didn’t Win
A USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times poll taken following last week’s California primary points the finger at extremely low turnout among young voters and undeclared voters nixing what could have been a key victory for Bernie Sanders.
“Our pre-election poll showed Sanders winning by one point among all eligible voters and Clinton with a 10-point lead among likely voters. Ultimately, Clinton turned out her voters and Sanders didn’t,” said Dan Schnur, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.
In California, “no party preference” voters can participate in the presidential primaries only if they request a Democratic or Republican ballot.
“Despite all their other very commendable qualities, young people simply don’t vote in as large percentages as their parents and grandparents,” Schnur said. “Non-aligned voters generally turn out in much smaller numbers than registered party members, and the problems that many ‘no party preference’ voters had accessing a Democratic primary ballot made a difficult challenge even more problematic for Sanders.”
The polling indicates that a majority of Sanders supporters (who actually voted) will support Hillary Clinton in the fall. Twenty-five per cent said they will not vote for her under any circumstances.
On This Day: 1777 – The Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted the “Stars and Stripes” as the national flag of the United States. The Flag Resolution stated “Resolved: that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” On May 20, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed June 14 “Flag Day” as a commemoration of the “Stars and Stripes.” 1846 – A group of settlers in Sonoma proclaimed the Republic of California. 1979 – A “No Nukes” concert took place at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. The acts included Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Stephen Stills and more.
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