Monday, February 20, 2017

Conservatives Shocked To Discover That Milo Yiannopoulos Is A Terrible Human Being

Update: Simon & Schuster has cancelled the publication of Yiannopoulos' book.
Just two days after news broke that’s serial harasser Milo Yiannopoulos would speak at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the conference’s hosts have rescinded his speaking invitation after video circulated of Yiannopoulos “condoning pedophilia.” While CPAC is now trying to do damage control, there were any number of reasons not to elevate Yiannopoulos before the video resurfaced. And anyone familiar with Yiannopoulos’ persona -- including the leadership at CPAC -- should have known that continuing to ally themselves with a champion of the so-called “alt-right” would eventually lead to something like this.
Milo Yiannopoulos is a senior editor at, the “alt-right” website formerly run by Stephen Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist (Bannon is still set to speak at CPAC this year). Yiannopoulos has spent years positioning himself as the poster boy for radical “free speech,” traveling on speaking tours and doing publicity stunts that target, hurt, and harass women, people of color, undocumented students, and the transgender community, among other already at-risk groups.
He was a key figure in the 2014 “Gamergate” harassment campaign, and was also permanently banned from Twitter for his role in the targeted online attacks on black actress Leslie Jones after she starred in an all-female remake of Ghostbusters. More recently, Yiannopoulos targeted a transgender student during an appearance on his college tour, displaying the student’s name and photo on a giant screen, as the Breitbart livestream of his speech featured a camera with crosshairs scanning across the audience (a “trigger cam”). 
This behavior is typical of the Breitbart senior editor -- Yiannopoulos and his misogynist “alt-right” fansencourage each other constantly within smaller online communities, repurposing cartoons, speaking in code to one another, and seeking out new individuals to target outside of their “alt-right” white nationalist base.
CPAC was apparently ready to reward Yiannopoulos’ dangerous behavior with more speaking time at its conference than the sitting vice president was offered. On Saturday, the Hollywood Reporter broke news that Yiannopoulos was reportedly set to deliver the keynote speech at CPAC next weekend; Yiannopoulos said the speech would focus on his "experiences in America battling feminists, Black Lives Matter, the media, professors and the entertainment industry.” Some conservatives were not pleased. Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, the group that hosts CPAC, subsequently released a statement clarifying that Yiannopoulos was not the conference’s keynote speaker but would remain one of 75 speakers in total.
Then, on Sunday night, video emerged on Twitter that “appeared to show the far-right agitator defending pedophilia.” The shared videos, in which Yiannopoulos seems to defend sexual relationships between 13-year-old boys and older men or women and joke about sexual abuse, “weren't new, they were repackaged and published on Twitter by a conservative account clearly critical of the CPAC invite.”
The conservative Twitter account behind the original video, “The Reagan Battalion,” has since posted several more videos of Yiannopoulos, including another in which he makes light of sexual assault and a longer, unedited cut as well as the full original video (in response to Yiannopoulos’ original defense that the video was “selectively edited.”) After the videos made the rounds on Twitter, more conservative figures belatedly expressed disappointment and horror at Yiannopoulos’ CPAC role. And now, just two days after the initial reports of his planned speech broke, CPAC has rescinded Yiannopoulos’ invitation due to the “offensive video.”
But Schlapp, and the larger conservative movement that’s increasingly relied on heinous “alt-right” harassment bros to drum up support, knew what they were doing when they invited Yiannopoulos to speak at their annual conference. It is worth reiterating that the Reagan Battalion videos were not new, and neither are any of the other things Milo Yiannopoulos has said and done over the years.
It’s not news that Yiannopoulos thinks the campus sexual assault epidemic is a “fantasy” or that he will say literally anything for attention, no matter how out-of-bounds. It’s not a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the “alt-right” white nationalist movement Breitbart has supported that Yiannopoulos repeatedly frames targeted harassment campaigns of transgender individuals, black women, and undocumented students as some disgusting testament to his own conveniently warped understanding of the First Amendment.
While Yiannopoulos is no longer speaking at the event, CPAC did announce another speaker on Monday: someone who was caught on tape bragging about sexual assault and then managed to win a presidential campaign.

‘We’re getting roasted by Swedes now’: Seth Meyers destroys Donald Trump’s ‘Swedish crime’ flub

Donald Trump confused a lot of people on Saturday when he implored a group of campaign rally-goers to “look what’s happening in Sweden” based off a discredited report alleging an increase in crime rates as a result of the European country’s immigration policies.
One such person was Late Night host Seth Meyers, who torched Trump’s flub on his “Closer Look” segment Monday night. Meyers showed a news segment that explained Sweden has been openly mocking the president’s comments.
“We’re getting roasted by Swedes now,” Meyers joked.
The Late Show host noted it’s difficult to keep up with the Trump presidency, as, “on one hand, you’ve got the genuinely ominous things he’s done—from declaring the free press the ‘enemy of the people’ to preemptively blaming a judge for future terrorist attacks,” on the other, you have reports that the president forced Chris Christie to eat meatloaf during one of their meetings.
Meyer’s added that even the president’s seemingly innocuous actions are controversial, like when Trump posted the photo to the official presidential Twitter account:
“Look how white that photo is,” Meyers joked. “If you print that photo out, you can use it again as a blank piece of paper.”
The host also tore into the president for his declaration that the press is “the enemy of the American people”—a statement the president tweeted, then deleted, then retweeted from his personal Twitter account Friday.
“Even when Trump wants to come off as an authoritarian strongman, it turns out, he’s still a buffoon,” Meyers said. “You know, when you have to double-clutch on your authoritarian declaration, you sound less like a terrifying dictator and more like that guy at the bonfire who can almost play guitar.”
Watch the full video below, via NBC:

Milo Yiannopoulos loses his book deal with Simon & Schuster amid growing outcry

By Elahe Izadi/Washington Post
Publisher Simon & Schuster announced Monday it cancelled Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’s book deal, the latest development in the growing backlash over resurfaced videos of the far-right provocateur criticizing age-of-consent laws.
A statement from the publishing house offered little explanation: “After careful consideration, Simon & Schuster and its Threshold Editions imprint have cancelled publication of ‘Dangerous’ by Milo Yiannopoulos.”
Hours earlier, organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference rescinded their invitation for Yiannopoulos to participate in this week’s conference. “Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation,” ACU chairman Matt Schlapp said in a statement.
The videos have been available for years, but resurfaced on social media over the weekend. In them, Yiannopoulos jokes about a teenage sexual encounter with a Catholic priest and argues about age-of-consent laws.
The controversial Breitbart editor defended himself on Facebook, writing that he does not support pedophilia, and “I am certainly guilty of imprecise language, which I regret.”
Simon & Schuster faced a flurry of criticism from the literary world late last year when word got out that the publishing house paid Yiannopoulos a $250,000 advance for a forthcoming book.
Known for inflammatory comments about women and Muslims, Yiannopoulos is an openly gay and self-described “free-speech fundamentalist” who has declared that “feminism is cancer” and was blocked on Twitter after sending tweets targeting  “Saturday Night Live” cast member Leslie Jones, who is black.
Word of the book deal prompted the Chicago Review of Books to announce it wouldn’t cover any book from the publishers in 2017 “in response to this disgusting validation of hate.” Writer Roxane Gay said she would pull her upcoming book from the publisher.
By Monday afternoon, though, the outcry over the videos led to discussions at Breitbart over the editor’s future at the company, The Post reported, citing two people familiar with the organization.

Fourth round of bomb threats hits Jewish Community Centers across the country

Jack Jenkins/Think Progress
In what is becoming an almost weekly occurrence, a fourth wave of bomb threats appears to have been made against Jewish Community Centers across the country, forcing evacuations.
According to various reports and independent ThinkProgress reporting, Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) in Birmingham, Alabama; Houston, TexasSt. Paul, MinnesotaWhitefish Bay, WisconsinBuffalo, New York and Amherst all received threats on Monday.
NBC News reporter Peter Alexander also cited threats in Chicago, Illinois; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Tampa, Florida; and Nashville, Tennessee.
It’s at least the fourth wave of bomb threats targeting American JCCs since January. Prior to Monday, roughly 48 Jewish centers in 26 states reported received unsettling phone calls this year—allegedly from a caller using a voice disguiser—in what is being described as “telephone terrorism.” Although none of the incidents have uncovered actual bombs or resulted in physical harm to the patrons of the centers, the fear-based attacks are rattling Jewish groups.
At least one of the centers—Harry and Rose Samson Family JCC in Whitefish —has received more than one bomb threat in recent weeks.
The incidents are part of a sharp uptick in anti-Semitic incidents across the country that began during Donald Trump’s campaign for president and appear to have escalated after his election. ThinkProgress tracked 70 instances of anti-Jewish hatred since Trump’s election, and while evidence indicates that hate incidents are skyrocketing generally, the largest number of incidents according to our data are anti-Semitic.
President Donald Trump was asked three times by multiple reporters to comment on the rise of anti-Semitism in press conferences last week, but declined each time. When he was asked explicitly by one Jewish reporter to comment on the rash of JCC bomb threats, Trump interrupted him, saying his question was “very insulting.”

Trump compares himself to Lincoln. But Lincoln warned us about demagogues like him.

Joe Romm/Think Progress
On Saturday, President Donald Trump compared himself to “Abraham Lincoln and many of our greatest presidents.” On his inauguration, Trump chose to be sworn in on the so-called “Lincoln bible” — the same one Honest Abe was sworn in on — because he was “inspired by Lincoln’s words,” Quartz reported.
On Presidents’ Day, though, it’s worth remembering that Trump is the anti-Lincoln (and anti-Washington). Indeed, he is not just the demagogue Founding Fathers like Alexander Hamilton warned us about. He is exactly the demagogue Lincoln himself warned us about.
At Gettysburg in 1863, Abraham Lincoln famously asked whether a nation “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal … can long endure.”
But Lincoln’s concern about the fate of the Republic — and the danger of a demagogue just like Trump — dates much earlier. Way back in 1838, a 28-year-old Lincoln gave a talk to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois on “The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions.” Although it’s one of his earliest published speeches, its prescience and timeliness make it a must read today.
Lincoln was trying to imagine what danger or threat could destroy this great nation — and “by what means shall we fortify against it.”
He dismissed the threat of “some transatlantic military giant” and argued that “the approach of danger to be expected … if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad.” He warned that “if destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.”
Lincoln was worried about what “an Alexander, a Caesar, or a Napoleon” might do to this country.
“It is to deny, what the history of the world tells us is true, to suppose that men of ambition and talents will not continue to spring up amongst us. And, when they do, they will as naturally seek the gratification of their ruling passion, as others have so done before them.”
The most ambitious men during the birth of our nation who “sought celebrity and fame, and distinction … expected to find them in the success of that experiment.” But that time has passed. “The question then, is, can that gratification be found in supporting and maintaining an edifice that has been erected by others? Most certainly it cannot.”
Such a man “sees no distinction in adding story to story, upon the monuments of fame, erected to the memory of others,” but rather “thirsts and burns for distinction.”
“Distinction will be his paramount object, and [with] nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would set boldly to the task of pulling down.”
Lincoln understood the psychology of those who have great ambition to lead, in part because he was one of them. Fortunately for us, Lincoln directed his enormous talent and ambition toward building up the country and preserving the Union.
Trump, sadly, is a man who wants to pull down the unity of the nation — and indeed the unity of the West. In a thinly-veiled attack on Trump, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Friday that the founders of the Munich conference he was attending, “would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism” and even more, that many people “including in my own country, are giving up on the West, that they see it as a bad deal that we may be better off without.”
Trump is a disuniter, the anti-Lincoln.
During the revolution, Lincoln explained, “the passions of the people” were given focus — “establishing and maintaining civil and religious liberty.” This meant that “the deep-rooted principles of hate, and the powerful motive of revenge, instead of being turned against each other, were directed exclusively against the British nation.”
But, he warned “this state of feeling must fade, is fading, has faded, with the circumstances that produced it.”
And remember, Lincoln was worried about the fading memory of George Washington’s spirit just a few decades after the Revolutionary War. Now we are over two centuries removed from that war.
Lincoln noted of “that struggle, nearly every adult male had been a participator.” He believed that their “indubitable testimonies … in the scars of wounds received, in the midst of the very scenes related … were a fortress of strength” against any challenge to our liberty, such as a a fame-seeking demagogue.
“They were the pillars of the temple of liberty,” he argued “and now, that they have crumbled away, that temple must fall, unless we, their descendants, supply their places with other pillars, hewn from the solid quarry of sober reason.”
His speech ended with these powerful and prescient words:
Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence. — Let those materials be moulded into general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws: and, that we improved to the last; that we remained free to the last; that we revered his [Washington’s] name to the last; that, during his long sleep, we permitted no hostile foot to pass over or desecrate his resting place; shall be that which to learn the last trump shall awaken our Washington.
The last sentence is a reference to the Bible, which Lincoln loved to quote.
The “last trump” is from 1 Corinthians: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible [imperishable], and we shall be changed.”
The last trump is sounded on the Day of Judgment to raise the dead, including George Washington. Lincoln was figuratively expressing hope, before Judgement Day, that Washington would never be disturbed or awoken by a “hostile foot to pass over or desecrate his resting place.”
Tragically, we now have a Trump that is desecrating everything that Washington fought for and that the Founders stood for. Lincoln’s words are as true today as they were nearly two centuries ago.

This is America’s day of judgment. The only way to stop this desecrating demagogue before he goes too far is through “unimpassioned reason” and “a reverence for the constitution and laws.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

CNN's Jim Acosta Calls Out Trump For Only Taking Questions From Conservatives: "The Fix Is In"

From the February 15 edition of CNN's Inside Politics:

JIM ACOSTA: I think one other thing we want to comment on very quickly, Wolf, just because you mentioned this a few moments ago. Yes, the two questions that were asked or called upon from the president in this news conference went to the Christian Broadcasting Network, which is obviously owned by Pat Robertson, the televangelist down in Virginia. It's a very conservative broadcasting network, and which is a very conservative news website. And so in the last three news conferences, Wolf, all of the questions to the American news media have been handled by conservative press. And I think, Wolf, there's no other way to describe it but the fix is in. This White House, this president, does not want to answer questions, critical questions, about his associates, his aides' contacts with the Russians during the course of that campaign just as his national security advisor is being run out of this White House on a rail. And so, I think that this only, they may think that this is being cute or they think this is strategic in terms of trying to shield the president from questions. but those questions can only be shielded for so long Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER:Two questions from American journalists this time from Townhall Media and the Christian Broadcasting Network. Two questions from Israeli journalists. John King, if he was treated so unfairly, Michael Flynn, in this process and he’s such a good man, why did the president fire him?

JOHN KING (HOST): Well, it would be nice, it would be nice, if the conservative outlets the president is calling on would ask him tough questions, and they would actually, instead of trying to curry favor with this president, they might do him a fare by letting him answer these questions, because until he answers these questions, this story is not going away.


JIM ACOSTA: I think one other thing we want to comment on very quickly, Wolf, just because you mentioned this a few moments ago. Yes, the two questions that were asked or called upon from the president in this news conference went to the Christian Broadcasting Network, which is obviously owned by Pat Robertson, the televangelist down in Virginia. It's a very conservative broadcasting network, and which is a very conservative news website. And so in the last three news conferences, Wolf, all of the questions to the American news media have been handled by conservative press. And I think, Wolf, there's no other way to describe it but the fix is in. This White House, this president, does not want to answer questions, critical questions, about his associates, his aides' contacts with the Russians during the course of that campaign just as his national security advisor is being run out of this White House on a rail. And so, I think that this only, they may think that this is being cute or they think this is strategic in terms of trying to shield the president from questions. but those questions can only be shielded for so long Wolf.

Hey Kid just shut up and make crappy music

Before I start I like out to point these two things out Kid Rock is a fraud and a moron, but he's a dangerous
moron and fraud if he decides to run against Debbie Stabenow. Nah, he won't be dangerous because he has an agenda that appeals to working class people or he's going to beat her on facts or being on the right side of the issues. What makes this wannabe dangerous is this giant shit sandwich that is the media in southeastern Michigan.

Kid Rock doesn't have to stand for anything or have any values all media will do is point to his celebrity and remind us he stood by Detroit roughly 9 million times before election day. And any screw ups or fuck-ups on his part will be swept under the rug and if we point out the fact the man knows nothing outside making shitty music, being a chameleon because the dude went from hip-hop rock to just rock to country and now this shitty halfway sound of country and classic rock and banging white trash groupies they'll say why are we hating on a man that stood by Detroit and why are we hating on a man who lowered ticket prices for fans here?

Before you say Motor City Lib you're just an alarmist, you don't know what you're talking about, let me remind you of this. The media here went out their way to protect Rick Snyder who avoided to take any political stances and they didn't press him on why he didn't want to take a stance, he didn't want to debate the media didn't force him to debate, we had a paper call him a liar and 24 months later that same paper endorsed him for re-election and when he poison a city the media didn't say a word until Rachael Maddow and other national media outlets pointed a spotlight at Flint.

I bet ya if you point out Kid Rock panders to southern racist, the media here will say he has a bi-racial son, therefore, he can't be a racist. So him rocking a symbol of slavery and white supremacy is null and void because his baby mama is a black chick.

What I believe will prevent him from running is the fact Detroit and being linked to Trump heavily is going to ruin that relationship.  And barring Trump allowing something awful to happen between now and October 31, 2018, he's going be unpopular and again being linked to Trump spells doom for your business. And at the end of the day Kid Rock cares about making cash and just having a hillbilly fanbase isn't going to cut it.

‘These are facts’: CNN’s Jake Tapper humiliates Trump for calling news reports ‘conspiracy theories’

CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday humiliated Donald Trump’s claim that the barrage of negative news stories related to his administration are “conspiracy theories,” taking moment to explain to the president what differentiates a conspiracy theory from actual, real news.
Discussing the Trump administration’s ever-changing story surrounding the resignation of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, Tapper noted today the president gave a “quite different explanation” than White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave earlier this week.
Whereas Spicer said at a press conference Tuesday that Flynn’s resignation was “a matter of trust,” Trump today blamed Flynn’s firing on the “unfair” media reporting stories about Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador.
“The media, of course did not fire Gen. Flynn, President Trump did,” Tapper said. “Now what the media did do was reveal to the nation that Gen. Flynn had lied to the Trump team—including Vice President Pence—when he claimed he never discussed Obama’s sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador.”
“President Trump knew this at least as early as Jan. 26,” Tapper added. “But he did not act on this until media revealed the truth to you, and, as it turns out, Vice President Pence.”
The CNN host then turned to Trump’s twitter reactions about the ongoing Flynn saga, wherein the president blamed the negative reports on “conspiracy theories”:
The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred. @MSNBC & @CNN are unwatchable. @foxandfriends is great!
“Of course these stories … are not conspiracy theories, these are news stories sourced by government officials,” Tapper explained. “Conspiracy theories are different, they’re false, they’re crackpot, they’re nonsense.”
“How do I illustrate what conspiracy theory is?” Tapper continued. “How about this one about Ted Cruz’s father,” he said rolling footage of then-candidate Trump claiming his former rival’s father was involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
“That’s a conspiracy theory,” Tapper said. “Or how about this one, about President Obama,” he added, playing footage of Trump in 2011 insinuating that the former president was not born in the United States.
“THOSE are conspiracy theories,” Tapper said. “These are facts.”
The CNN host then turned to Trump’s hypocrisy regarding leaks. Though his administration is currently fixated on the historic amount of internal information coming from the White House, Tapper noted the president was more than happy to use leaked information to his advantage during the campaign.
“No president likes leaks … but it’s worth noting candidate Trump’s path to power was tread on a road of leaks,” Tapper said, playing a montage of the president praising information from WikiLeaks and the FBI that proved damning for rival Hillary Clinton.
“He didn’t have a problem with leaks then,” Tapper said, adding, “It’s not a moral position if you only hold it when it applies to you.”
Watch the video below, via CNN: